JANESVILLE (WIFR) – Rock County District Attorney David O’Leary announced that he has been appointed by Governor Scott Walker to the State’s Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC). The CJCC is co-chaired by Attorney General J.B. VanHollen and Secretary Gary Hamblin of the Department of Corrections. The mission of the CJCC is to promote and facilitate the implementation of effective criminal justice policies and practices that maximize justice and the safety of the public. The vision statement of the CJCC is to make the criminal justice system a better investment toward improving the quality of life in Wisconsin.
O’Leary is currently the President-elect of the Wisconsin District Attorneys Association (WDAA) and will represent the State’s prosecutors on the CJCC. O’Leary has been a member of the Rock County CJCC since it was established by the Rock County Board of Supervisors on May 11, 2006. The purpose of creating Rock County’s CJCC was to bring stakeholders in the criminal justice system and members of the public together on a regular basis to discuss issues affecting the system, resolve problems, and plan for the future. The newly formed State CJCC will act in an advisory capacity to the legislature and Governor on issues affecting the criminal justice system.
As an example of successful cooperation by criminal justice partners, the Rock County CJCC helped create numerous specialty courts, including Drug Court, Veteran’s Court, and OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) Court. The goal of these specialty courts has been to focus our limited resources to improve the long-term outcome from those convicted by not only focusing on punishment when necessary to protect the public but also address the treatment needs of those who are convicted in order to minimize recidivism. The success from these programs has proven that it is possible to change criminal thinking if needs such as alcohol or drug addiction are addressed. Our efforts have also shown us that it takes a unified effort of every participant in the Criminal Justice system in order to accomplish our goals.
O’Leary hopes to apply the lessons learned in Rock County to a statewide level. By focusing the limited resources of all participants in the Criminal Justice System on common goals, the State can reduce recidivism thereby making our communities safer while also reducing the overall expense of operating the criminal justice system.
The next meeting of the State CJCC will be on December 5, 2012, at the Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance in Madison.