In 1999, Congress passed the District of Columbia Appropriations Act, 2000, which mandated that the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) assess and report on the District of Columbia criminal justice system. The extensive report released by the GAO, entitled DC Criminal Justice System, Better Coordination Needed Among Participating Agencies, noted that the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council was the best forum for the District’s criminal justice agencies to identify and address public safety issues that involved multiple criminal justice agencies. In 2001, the DC Council established the CJCC as an independent agency with the Mayor as the chair and certain government agencies as its members. The following year, Congress passed legislation that funded the CJCC with federal dollars and installed the heads of the participating federal agencies as CJCC members. In 2004, the CJCC members voted to establish a co-chair, a federal or judicial CJCC member, to serve along with the Mayor in furtherance of the agency’s mission. In 2020, the Office of Victim Services and Grants was added as a CJCC member.
The CJCC plays an important role in facilitating an independent collaborative forum for stakeholders to address the District’s longstanding and emerging public safety issues.