The Safety and Justice Challenge elicited an overwhelming response. A total of 191 applications were submitted from jurisdictions spanning 45 states. In 2015, 20 were selected to participate in the Challenge Network to develop plans for creating fairer, more effective justice systems.
The Challenge Network sites represent 16 counties, 3 cities, and one state-wide system (Connecticut). They are geographically distributed throughout the country and have a diverse jail capacity size, ranging from 239 beds in Mesa County to as many as 21,951 beds in Los Angeles County. Collectively, the Challenge Network holds a jail capacity just under 100,000 and accounts for 11% of the national confined population in jails. The Network has a combined population of more than 42 million (2013 U.S. Census), accounting for approximately 13% of the total U.S. population.
Within the Challenge Network, 10 of the participating jurisdictions are receiving substantial funding and expert technical assistance as Core Sites, and are currently working on implementing their plans to significantly reduce their jail populations. Ten Partner Sites are continuing their local reform work and planning with lower levels of funding and technical assistance, with the goal of being positioned to implement their plans next year.