Follow Chris Linkedin Twitter Facebook
Email Chris Email
Economic Development
Dec 21, 2017

Change Agents on a Mission

Sponsored Content provided by Chris Coudriet - County Manager, New Hanover County Government

It is the end of 2017 and I am thankful for many things.

I am thankful for the more than 1,700 dedicated county employees who work hard, serve our citizens and make a difference in our community every day. I am thankful to the Board of Commissioners for their leadership, vision and strategic support that is helping create an environment for people and businesses to thrive. And I am thankful for the county’s many community partners and nonprofits that work tirelessly to create positive change in New Hanover County.

One community group that is creating change is the Criminal Justice Advisory Group (CJAG). They are working to free kids from gang life, addressing the opioid epidemic head-on, and helping to bring mental and physical wellness resources to schools.

CJAG was created in 2016 in response to community conversations and focus groups about public safety concerns. New Hanover County, in collaboration with the City of Wilmington, based our local CJAG on national best practices and local justice systems across the state.

The group is comprised of public safety community leaders from New Hanover County and City of Wilmington governments, including myself and the city manager, our Superior Court Judge, Chief District Court Judge, Sheriff, District Attorney, Public Defender, City of Wilmington Police Chief, Wrightsville Beach Police Chief, Kure Beach Police Chief, Carolina Beach Police Chief, Clerk of Superior Court, Trial Court Administrator, UNCW Police Chief, CFCC Police Chief, Judicial District Manager, Chief Court Counselor, and the county’s Community Justice Services Director and Adult Enhancement Services Manager.

This is an outstanding group of leaders with a strategic mission to transform public safety across all sectors of our community. They are change agents in our neighborhoods, schools, homes, and on our streets.
New Hanover County’s CJAG model creates a coordinated effort across all public safety entities to build a common community agenda, and set priorities to improve the overall effectiveness and efficiencies of criminal justice in our county. Those priorities are court efficiencies, gangs, opioids, sexual offenses, and youth crime and violence.

As a group, CJAG meets every other month, with smaller task groups meeting in between. Each task group is focused on a specific priority; and, while their work has just started, they have already made great strides in addressing local challenges.

In the courthouse, they are implementing LEAN efficiencies to make things fairer, faster, and more focused. They are also examining the citation process of local municipalities in hopes of encouraging more civil citations, when appropriate, which would keep people out of the courtroom.

The gangs task group is working on ways to enforce the probation of gang members so that there is less opportunity for them to assemble and recruit others. Their outside-of-the-box thinking has already been implemented with injunctions against verified gang members. As subject-matter experts, they are also compiling data on gang-related crimes to better understand the issue and the impacts.

To help combat the opioid epidemic, CJAG has worked with the county’s Communications and Outreach Department to launch a series of video Public Service Announcements to educate the community. They are also actively participating on SEAHEC’s Community Partners Coalition and Health Leadership Council to work in collaboration with other community stakeholders for better intervention and prevention of opioid abuse.

To make an impact on sexual offenses, the group is focusing on the need for intentional discussions with local students about crime related to sexual offenses. They are partnering with community agencies to understand what is currently being offered to local students, in order to ensure that children are aware of safe internet usage and to help create healthy, positive relationships.

The youth crime and violence task group is taking a new approach to handle crisis intervention more efficiently and successfully. They are working to provide all school personnel with youth mental health first aid training, which would help them intervene with behavioral issues and provide children with the resources and services they need early on.

Each of these priorities is a coordinated effort among the CJAG. While each priority focuses on different criminal justice challenges, they can’t be viewed as isolated issues. They have to be looked at collectively because they are inextricably interrelated.

And that is exactly what CJAG is doing. They are looking at public safety from every angle through a collective impact model. Through interagency cooperation, coordination, and planning, CJAG is making a significant difference in the community’s most pressing issues and, for that, I am grateful.

Thank you to our amazing leaders, incredible organizations, and dedicated citizens who make New Hanover County a place that we can all be proud of. Together, we can make a difference.

New Hanover County is committed to progressive public policy, superior service, courteous contact, judicious exercise of authority, and sound fiscal management to meet the needs and concerns of our citizens today and tomorrow. See more at http://www.nhcgov.com.
 

Other Posts from Chris Coudriet

Nhcseal wilmingtonbiz
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Jim ellis headshot 10311631058

Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Digital Agency

Jim Ellis - Signal
Hardy revised

Transforming the CHHS of Today to the CHHS of Tomorrow

Charles Hardy - UNCW College of Health and Human Services
Christy2

Is Your Roof Absorbing Water?

Christy West - Roof Rescue of Wilmington LLC/Roof Maxx

Trending News

Realtor Submits Site Plans For Luxury Condos, Executive Office Center

Cece Nunn - Aug 22, 2019

Firm's Expansion Expected To Lead To New CRO Jobs In Wilmington

Cece Nunn - Aug 22, 2019

Pawsome News: New Pet Daycare And Retailers Opening In Wilmington

Johanna Cano - Aug 20, 2019

Public Forums Draw Questions About NHRMC's Future

Vicky Janowski - Aug 20, 2019

SummerFest 19 To Include Street Food Cook-off At Battleship Park

Jessica Maurer - Aug 21, 2019

In The Current Issue

Advocating For Realtors

Anne Gardner, the new CEO of Cape Fear Realtors, talks about her role leading one of the region's largest trade associations....


MADE: For Retailer, It's In The Bag

Find out more about Holly Aiken Bags, a company that creates handbags and accessories handmade in Wilmington and Raleigh....


Measuring Coral Health

Researchers at UNCW have developed an instrument that measures the health of coral reefs, a tool that could be useful for other universities...

Book On Business

The 2019 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

WILMA's Leadership Accelerator
Power Breakfast - The H Word (June 13, 2019)
2019 WilmingtonBiz Expo Keynote Lunch - CEO, nCino, Pierre Naude`