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What is a Criminal Justice Coordinating Council?

  • Criminal Justice Coordinating Councils are councils formed by a county or counties to coordinate and improve components of the criminal justice system in the county.

  • Criminal Justice Coordinating Councils were introduced in 2022's SB 179 Criminal Justice Amendments and are ruled by Utah Code 17-55.

  • The driving force behind this bill was the conclusions drawn from the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI) Listening Tour held in 2021 in order to give more power for justice reform to local leaders who know better than the state what their communities need.

  • This transfers the responsibility and the power of justice reform to county leaders.

What does a Criminal Justice Coordinating Council do?

A council shall develop and implement a strategic plan for the county’s or counties’ criminal justice system that includes:

  • mapping of all systems, resources, assets, and services within the county’s or counties’ criminal justice system;

  • a plan for data sharing across the county’s or counties’ criminal justice system;

  • recidivism reduction objectives; and

  • community reintegration goals.

When do counties have to create Criminal Justice Coordinating Councils?

  • Counties should create their Criminal Justice Coordinating Councils by January 1, 2023. Penalties start on July 1, 2023. See more on penalties below.

How often do Criminal Justice Coordinating Councils have to meet?

  • The statute does not specify; often enough to create the strategic plan to be submitted yearly.


How long will Criminal Justice Coordinating Councils last?

  • In perpetuity. These are meant to help counties come up with unique community solutions for unique community problems.

What are the reporting requirements? 

  • Criminal Justice Coordinating Councils must provide a written report to CCJJ regarding the implementation of the strategic plan and any data on the impact of the council on the criminal justice system in the county/counties.

  • This report is due before November 30 of each year.

Who is on the Criminal Justice Coordinating Councils?

A council shall include:

  • one county commissioner or county council member;

  • the county sheriff or the sheriff’s designee;

  • one chief of police of a municipality within the county or the chief’s designee;

  • the county attorney or the attorney’s designee;

  • one public defender or attorney who provides public defense within the county;

  • one district court judge;

  • one justice court judge;

  • one representative from the Division of Adult Probation and Parole within the Department of Corrections;

  • one representative from the local mental health authority within the county;

  • and one individual who is a crime victim or a crime victim advocate.

The county commissioner/councilmember serving on the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council shall act as the chair.

A council may also include:

  • an individual representing local government; human services programs; higher education; peer support services; workforce services; local housing services; mental health or substance use disorder providers; a health care organization within the county; a local homeless council; family counseling and support groups; or organizations that work with families of incarcerated individuals; or

  • an individual with lived experiences in the criminal justice system.

Only one of these individuals is allowed on the Council.

Counties may combine to create a Criminal Justice Coordinating Council.

UAC is engaging with CCJJ to provide staff help for the Criminal Justice Coordinating Councils. Updates will be posted later.

What are the penalties for not creating a Criminal Justice Coordinating Council and submitting the required reports?

  • Beginning July 1, 2023, the CCJJ may not award any grant of state funds to a criminal justice coordinating council that is not in compliance with this statute.

  • These CCJJ grants will be what propel forward the strategic plans, so if Criminal Justice Coordinating Councils do not meet and submit these plans, they will not receive money for justice reform in their county/counties.

  • General state grant monies will not be withheld from non-compliant counties; the only penalty is the lack of grant monies to the Criminal Justice Coordinating Councils themselves.

What if I have more questions about Criminal Justice Coordinating Councils?

Please contact Steve Hunter at

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