safe and engaged

We Are Safe, Just & Engaged

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CRIME occurred at a rate of

3,270

OFFENSES PER 100,000 PEOPLE

 

LOCAL EFFORTS

  • Austin Mayor Steve Adler’s Task Force on Institutional Racism and Systemic Inequities presented its recommendations in April 2017. The report includes a section on criminal justice reform.
  • Austin Justice Coalition is a grassroots organization addressing community needs, increasing political involvement, empowering communities, and criminal justice reform at the local level.
  • Grassroots Leadership works for a more just society where prison profiteering, mass incarceration, deportation & criminalization are things of the past.
  • Measure Austin is an organization whose mission is to use data and education to empower communities to eliminate social disparities.
  • Restore Rundberg is a neighborhood-led initiative that was originally launched with a $1 million Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative grant from the US Department of Justice. Even though the grant ended in 2016, neighbors continue to work with the Austin Police Department and other stakeholders to reduce crime and revitalize their neighborhood. A study released by the University of Texas RGK Center in December 2015 reported that the Rundberg area experienced declines in both violent crime (4.5%) and property crime (14%) when comparing data from April 2012—August 2013 to April 2014—August 2015.
  • The Austin Police Department has centralized its Burglary Unit to improve the number of cases solved and to successfully prosecute offenders who commit burglaries. The Travis County Sheriff’s Office has plans to also centralize its burglary investigations into a single unit.
  • Local coalitions and collaborations, such as the Austin/Travis Family Violence Task Force, the Austin/Travis County Sexual Assault Response and Resource Team, the Start Strong Coalition, the Austin/Travis County Reentry Roundtable, and Learn All the Time promote advocacy, awareness and training that help reduce crime with an emphasis on prevention.
  • Integral Care partners with law enforcement and other partners to provide several jail diversion programs and strategies. Crisis Intervention Teams are teams of Austin Police Department officers and Travis County Sheriff’s Deputies who have been specially trained to work with individuals experiencing mental illness. The Mobile Crisis Outreach Team (MCOT) helps to divert people experiencing a mental health crisis away from jail and toward a more appropriate setting.
  • Special problem-solving courts and dockets have also been created to impact issues like substance abuse, mental health, domestic violence, and repeat offenders. A few examples include the Adult Drug Diversion Court , Travis County Family Drug Treatment Court, and the Downtown Community Court.
  • Travis County offers a number of programs for people involved with the criminal justice system, that are aimed at helping them become successful after release and to reduce recidivism. Programs help ex-offenders find employment and address mental health and substance use issues. Travis County is also pursuing state funding to establish a Public Defenders Office to strengthen indigent defense. Austin is the largest U.S. city without such an office. The proposal would help to improve outcomes for people charged with crimes in Travis County who cannot afford an attorney.
  • Goodwill Central Texas was awarded a $4.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor in 2016 to improve employment and reduce recidivism among justice-involved young adults. The Goodwill LifeLaunch young adult reentry program will provide access to employment, training opportunities and support services for 575 young adults, between the ages of 18 to 24.