Council for Court Excellence Publishes D.C. Justice Systems Overview

The Council for Court Excellence (CCE) has published a new report offering a look into the significant challenges and innovations in the District ’s adult and youth criminal legal systems during 2021. Titled D.C.’s Justice Systems Overview 2021, the report provides updates on various challenges and developments in D.C.’s criminal legal system, as well as data visualizations to show significant trends or insights.

Misty Thomas, Executive Director of the Council for Court Excellence, stated that “Despite the logistical complexities caused by the ongoing pandemic and the collective grief and outcry surrounding the rise in gun violence, the community continued to come together to demand more, and better, for the District’s justice-involved residents and those impacted by crime.”

According to CCE several key findings include:

  • The District saw a 36% increase in homicides between 2019 and 2021, with both the victims and suspects of homicides and nonfatal shoots being overwhelmingly male, Black, and between the ages of 18 and 34.
  • Between January 2020 and June 2021, D.C. Superior Court’s active criminal caseload grew by 79%, going from 5,707 cases as the pandemic began, to 10,199 during the height of the Delta variant and after more than a year of shutdowns.
  • The Federal Bureau of Prisons did not grant any of the 206 compassionate release motions they received from people convicted of D.C. Code Offenses between January 2021 to October 2021.
  • Despite an increase in youth involvements in carjackings, overall youth arrests in D.C. decreased by 52% between 2019 and 2021, dropping from 2,759 to 1,325.
  • The number of people under Court Supervision and Offender Services Agency (CSOSA) supervision for probation decreased by 50.8%, with people under CSOSA supervision parole decreasing by 22.8% and supervised release decreasing by 22% between January 2019 and September 2021.