Reports & Toolkits

Counties and the American Rescue Plan Act Recovery Fund: Justice and Public Safety

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    Counties and the American Rescue Plan Act Recovery Fund: Justice and Public Safety

    THE RECOVERY FUND AND JUSTICE AND PUBLIC SAFETY

    The Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (Recovery Fund), part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which NACo helped to develop and strongly advocated to pass, allocates $65.1 billion. These funds provide direct, flexible aid for every county, parish and borough in America. Counties are on the front lines in delivering this aid to residents and are a driving force connecting communities and strengthening the economy.

    As directed by the ARPA and the U.S. Department of Treasury, counties can invest Recovery Funds into a broad range of programs, services and projects under five categories to: support the public health response; address negative economic impacts caused by COVID-19; replace lost revenue; provide premium pay to essential workers; and invest in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure.

    Since the enactment of the ARPA, America’s counties have been working hard to develop Recovery Fund implementation plans that will help spur an equitable economic recovery across the nation. As sound financial stewards, counties are investing these critical Recovery Funds to ensure the health and well-being of our nation’s residents and the economic vitality of our local communities. Many counties are in the preliminary stages of development and implementation of Recovery Fund Plans. This report highlights county investments to improve public safety, enhance support services in county jails and strengthen justice system infrastructure to increase efficiency.

    COUNTIES INVEST BILLIONS IN JUSTICE & PUBLIC SAFETY

    Across the nation, counties invest $107 billion in justice and public safety efforts each year. In total, counties support 91 percent of all local jails.

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    COUNTIES PLAN TO INVEST RECOVERY FUNDS TO:

    COUNTIES ARE SUPPORTING JUSTICE & PUBLIC SAFETY OPERATIONS THROUGH KEY INVESTMENTS

    How are counties investing the funds? NACo analysis of 200 county ARPA Recovery Fund plans reveals county-designed investments in the community across key areas of need. These local priorities are found within county plans at the rate displayed in the chart, e.g. 25 percent of county plans include investments in justice and public safety. The darker bars are the investment categories adjacent to justice and public safety that support the continuation and expansion of services in counties. The examples in this report further illustrate the allocations to support justice and public safety on the local level.

    Note: NACo analysis of 200 county Recovery Plan Performance Reports from counties with a population of 250,000 and above, as required by the U.S. Department of Treasury. Analysis is as of Nov. 19, 2021. While the bar chart sources Recovery Plans, the narrative examples in this report draw from a variety of resources including the Recovery Plans, press releases and other official documents.

    COLLIN COUNTY, TEXAS

    Collin County is supporting public health measures in county jails by constructing a specialized medical and mental heath infirmary at the Collin County Adult Detention Center. The $134 million allocation of Recovery Funds will add approximately 450 beds and help the county better care for inmates while bolstering the county’s COVID-19 protection and mitigation response.

    DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

    The District of Columbia is assisting returning residents by hiring additional peer navigators to help formerly incarcerated individuals with services such as job training and housing placement. An additional $1.1 million in Recovery Funds is allocated for the Building Blocks DC Case Management System, which focuses on reducing gun violence, in addition to $1.7 million for increased capacity at the alternative 911 response call center. These comprehensive investments aim to holistically address community safety during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

    FULTON COUNTY, GA.

    Fulton County is tackling the court case backlog caused by the pandemic with a $75 million investment of Recovery Funds. The funding will support the staffing, expansion and improvements to the current system including 20 additional courtrooms, extended hours, additional satellite courtroom locations, enhanced case management and the implementation of real-time case dispositions.

    GLOUCESTER COUNTY, N.J.

    Gloucester County is bolstering public safety by implementing Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) for law enforcement. The county is also investing in CIT training for 911 dispatchers to increase the probability that a specifically trained CIT officer is dispatched to de-escalate a mental health crisis. These investments aim to increase the probability of positive outcomes in the community and support the county in its recovery efforts.

    HENNEPIN COUNTY, MINN.

    Hennepin County is addressing the increase in gun violence during the pandemic through a $5 million allocation for a gun violence prevention program. The program will support “on the street” community providers, implement trauma-focused services and address the root causes of violence. An additional $990,000 is also allocated to address the COVID-19 related court backlog.

    LOS ANGELES COUNTY, CALIF.

    Los Angeles County is assisting residents by utilizing Recovery Funds to expand the system of care and reduce reliance on incarceration, support justice-focused community organizations, create jobs for justice-involved individuals and address trauma and violence in communities. The county is also setting aside $47.1 million for the Care First, Jails Last program, which supports community-based diversion efforts and jail alternatives. These efforts specifically target a population disproportionately affected by the public health crisis and economic downturn.

    INGHAM COUNTY, MICH.

    Ingham County is strengthening community safety during the pandemic through an investment of Recovery funds in advanced peace initiatives that aim to reduce gun violence. The program will help fund an initiative that includes non-police, trauma-informed social worker support, mediation services and de-escalation support.

    ORANGE COUNTY, FLA.

    Orange County is supporting first responders by installing a new Public Safety Radio Communications Tower in a part of the county that is experiencing rapid growth during the pandemic. The $1.5 million investment will provide critical support and coordination for all public safety agencies and county departments as they respond to the increased need.

    PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, MD.

    Prince George’s County will help vulnerable populations through a $3 million investment in gun violence prevention. The county aims to reduce shootings and homicides in underserved areas within the county, otherwise known as Qualified Census Tracts (QCTs). Given the increased incidences of gun violence during the pandemic, the county hopes to heighten public safety with this key support.

    ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, N.H.

    Rockingham County is increasing public safety operations capacity by alleviating crowded working conditions at the courthouse and improving HVAC systems, with the support of $25 million from the Recovery Fund. The county is also setting aside $8 million to construct and operate a Community Corrections facility which will provide a 90-day mental health and substance abuse services program.

    SEDGWICK COUNTY, KAN.

    Sedgwick County is tackling public safety and court backlogs with a $1.5 million allocation of Recovery Funds. The funding will provide additional staff, office equipment, software and space for additional courtrooms. The sheriff’s department is also requesting a crisis counselor to provide mental health services to its staff due to the increase in stress caused by the pandemic.

    ST. CHARLES COUNTY, MO.

    St. Charles County is utilizing $57.25 million in Recovery Funds for a correctional project to expand mental health and substance abuse services and improve detainee living conditions in county jails. The project will support an additional 172 incarcerated individuals and address the increase in pretrial individuals with mental illness and substance use disorders. The county aims to use this Recovery Fund allocation to address the negative impact of COVID-19 on the incarcerated population and promote healthier living and working conditions for everyone involved in the justice system.

    Across the nation, counties invest $107 billion in justice and public safety efforts each year. In total, counties support 91 percent of all local jails.
    2022-03-01
    Reports & Toolkits
    2022-07-18
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