Case Study: Dane County, Wis.

In 2016, Dane County joined Data Driven Justice (DDJ), committing to data sharing and integration across justice, health, and community services systems in an effort to divert individuals with substance use disorders and mental illnesses away from the justice system and decrease or eliminate their need for emergency services. The county also resolved to better understand and address the racial disparities within these systems. Dane County has devoted significant time and resources to integrate and use that data to identify gaps in care and other problems within the crisis response system. Long standing efforts on criminal justice reform in Dane County, in addition to growing community support, led the County Board to approve an expansive reform package in October of 2020.2 This package included a triage and restoration center, a community justice center, and protocol changes for a crisis first responder pilot program. This case study shares Dane County’s recent successes providing crisis response services to residents in need and the steps that led to these successes.