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 comprehensive plans for creating fairer, more effective justice systems that both reduce jail populations and reduce racial disparities in incarceration. In 2017, 20 jurisdictions were selected to join the Safety and Justice Challenge Network through the Challenge Innovation Fund.
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. Twenty Innovation Sites are receiving short-term support to design and test innovative approaches to local justice reform.
The Challenge Network sites represent 34 counties, four cities, and two state-wide systems. They are geographically distributed throughout the country and have a diverse jail capacity size, ranging from 92 beds in Campbell County, TN to as many as 21,951 beds in Los Angeles County. Collectively, the Challenge Network holds a jail capacity of approximately 130,000 and accounts for 16% of the total confined jail population.