Catalyzing Reform in Mexico's Criminal Justice Systems

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In 2008, a landmark amendment to the Constitution was made in Mexico to reform its criminal justice system. The new accusatory system came into effect nationwide in 2016. The shift from inquisitorial jurisprudence to an adversarial system, or in other words, a system of criminal justice with a central principle of ‘innocent until proven guilty’, with new open trials and alternative resolution mechanisms. Progress on results during the early years of this transition remained slow, with so many institutions needing a radical shift in the way they approached their work, and in navigating the new legal landscape.

The Rapid Results Institute Joins the ProJusticia Program

Starting in 2017, the RRI partnered with the United States Agency for International Development funded MSI program ProJusticia - one of the largest criminal justice programs in the world, to develop and deliver 100-Day Challenges to help accelerate reform in local justice systems throughout Mexico. Front-line teams consisting of judges, policemen and women, public prosecutors, NGOs, the private sector, and public defense lawyers were all brought together to tackle specific crimes within their communities, and the first round of Challenges were launched.

First Round of 100-Day Challenges

 
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The first round of 100-Day Challenges consisted of 8 teams in 5 initial jump-start cities, which included:

  • Chihuahua, Chihuahua

  • Monterrey, Nuevo León

  • Tijuana, Baja California

  • Villahermosa, Tabasco

  • Zacatecas, Zacatecas

The teams were challenged to set unreasonable goals to radically increase the rate of resolution of a variety of crime types, including commercial robbery, domestic violence and vehicular theft. RRI began training Projusticia staff in the choreography and methodology of the 100-Day Challenge, in order to ensure sustainability moving forward.

The results from the first round of 100-Day Challenges were nothing short of exceptional:

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Second Round of 100-Day Challenges

 
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Inspired by the success of the initial round, 14 teams in 7 cities launched additional 100-Day Challenges in Summer 2018, centered again around increasing the rate of resolved crimes in specific categories. Several of the jump-start cities from the first round of Challenges also participated in the second round, progressing them further along their journey towards irreversible momentum. Additionally, we also launched a Leadership Journey to help leaders learn new and more effective ways to manage their teams. The cities to accept the Challenge included:   

  • Chihuahua City

  • Ciudad Juarez

  • Fresnillo

  • Mexicali

  • Saltillo

  • Tijuana

  • Villahermosa

The teams jumped quickly into action to start working towards achieving the unreasonable goals they set for themselves. The results from the second round were just as remarkable as the first - with several teams again seeing exponential increases in the amount of cases solved:

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An Increase in Confidence

 
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Each increase in resolved cases represented another victim for whom justice was served, leading to an increased sense of confidence in the criminal justice system. Several significant innovations involving public-private partnerships, new ways of using technology and new mechanisms for cross-system collaboration were developed - ensuring the sustainability of the work moving forward and the overall improvement of underlying systems.

National Leaders Meeting

 
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In February 2019, leaders who had participated in the 100-Day Challenges thus far came together in Zacatecas to celebrate the achievements of the teams, reflect on the many lessons learned, and strategize on maintaining sustainability and ways to capitalize on the building momentum. These leaders included Attorneys General, Presidents of the Courts, Secretary of Public Security, Private Sector leaders and others.

The Work Continues

 
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The results achieved by the 22 teams showed what remarkable improvements can be made to the justice system when front-line staff are given the agency to innovate, collaborate, and execute in new ways - with the full support of their leaders.

Our work within the justice system is not yet over. We recently partnered with MSI and Checchi to launch 100-Day Challenges focused on anti-corruption, which are currently ongoing- and we have more work planned in criminal justice throughout 2019!


Catalizando la Reforma del Sistema de Justicia Penal en México

En el 2008, en México se realizó una enmienda de la Constitución Mexicana para reformar su sistema de justicia penal. El nuevo sistema acusatorio entró en vigor a nivel nacional en 2016. Esto representaba un cambio de la jurisprudencia inquisitiva a un sistema de justicia penal con una presunción de inocencia, nuevas audiencias abiertas y mecanismos alternativos de resolución. El trabajo realizado durante los primeros años para establecer esta reforma fue parte de un proceso de cambio profundo, en el que un gran número de instituciones necesitaban generar un cambio significativo en la forma en la que realizaban su trabajo y en la que navegaban el nuevo panorama legal.

El Instituto de Resultados Rápidos se asocia con el Programa ProJusticia

Al inicio del 2017, RRI se asoció con el programa Pro justicia de MSI  financiado por el United States Agency for International Development - uno de los programas de apoyo técnico de justicia penal más grandes en el mundo, para desarrollar e implementar los Retos de 100 Días y así ayudar a acelerar la implementación de la reforma de justicia en los sistemas locales alrededor de México. Los equipos operativos están conformados por jueces, policías, fiscales, organizaciones de la sociedad civil, sector privado y defensores públicos, los cuales se reúnen con el objetivo de trabajar en delitos específicos en sus comunidades, con esto se lanza la primera ronda de Retos.

Primera Ronda de Retos de 100-Días

 
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La primera ronda de Retos de 100 Días consiste en 8 equipos en 5 ciudades iniciales, las cuales son las siguientes:

  • Chihuahua, Chihuahua

  • Monterrey, Nuevo León

  • Tijuana, Baja California

  • Villahermosa, Tabasco

  • Zacatecas, Zacatecas

Se les solicita a los equipos se fijen metas muy ambiciosas para así tener incrementos radicales de resolución de una variedad de delitos, incluyendo robo a comercio, violencia familiar y robo de vehículos. RRI comenzó a capacitar al personal de Projusticia en la metodología de los Retos de 100 Días, para así asegurar la sostenibilidad del proyecto en el futuro.

Los resultados de la primera ronda de Retos de 100 Días fueron excepcionales:

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Segunda Ronda de Retos de 100 Días

 
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Inspirados por el éxito de la ronda inicial, en el verano del 2018 se sumaron 14 equipos en 7 ciudades adicionales, enfocados una vez más en incrementar la resolución de casos en categorías específicas. Varias de las ciudades iniciales que participaron en la primera ronda de Retos, también participaron en la segunda ronda, logrando que continuarán a tener avances significativos hacia un sistema de justicia penal más eficaz, más ágil y enfocado en resultados tangibles.

Adicionalmente, también se lanzaron las “Conversaciones de Liderazgo”  para apoyar a los líderes a aprender nuevas y efectivas formas de trabajar como sistema local. Las ciudades que aceptaron el Reto y quisieron ser incluidas fueron:  

  • Ciudad de Chihuahua

  • Ciudad Juárez

  • Fresnillo

  • Mexicali

  • Saltillo

  • Tijuana

  • Villahermosa

Los equipos rápidamente llevaron a cabo los pasos necesarios para lograr susmetas ambiciosas. Los resultados de la segunda ronda fueron igual de extraordinarios que la primera, con varios equipos obteniendo incrementos exponenciales en el número de casos resueltos:

Incremento en Confianza

 
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El incremento de casos resueltos se traduce en justicia para las víctimas, resultando en mayor confianza por parte de las víctimas en el sistema de justicia penal. Se desarrollaron varias innovaciones significativas involucrando alianzas entre el sector público-privado, nuevas formas de utilizar la tecnología y nuevos mecanismos para la colaboración sistémica, asegurando las sustentabilidad del trabajo a futuro y de la mejora de los sistemas involucrados.

Reunión de Líderes Nacionales

 
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En febrero del 2019, líderes que habían participado en los Retos de los 100 Días se reunieron en Zacatecas para celebrar los logros de los equipos, reflexionar acerca de las lecciones aprendidas, y crear estrategias para mantener sostenibilidad y formas en las que se puede capitalizar el trabajo realizado para continuar el momentum. Los líderes incluyen Procuradores Generales, Presidentes de Tribunales, Secretarios de Seguridad Pública, Líderes del Sector Privado y otros.

El Trabajo Continua

 
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Los resultados que se lograron por los 22 equipos demostraron que el sistema si puede funcionar sobretodo cuando los equipos operativos tienen la oportunidad y apoyo de líderes para crear mejoras innovadoras en colaboración y ejecutar su trabajo de nuevas maneras.  

Nuestro trabajo en México no se ha terminado, recientemente nos aliamos con MSI y Checchi para lanzar Reto de 100-Días enfocados en anti-corrupción, en los que estamos trabajando actualmente y tenemos más trabajo planeado en el sistema de justicia penal a la largo del 2019!

RRI Housing and Homelessness in 2018: A Year in Review

It was a busy year for the Housing and Homeless Team at the Rapid Results Institute! In addition to launching 2 more cohorts in the movement to prevent and end youth homelessness, we also launched several other projects and some additions to our program. Here’s a breakdown of what we were up to in 2018:

The Movement to Prevent and End Youth Homelessness

RRI’s primary focus in the US has been being the on-ramp for the movement to prevent and end youth homelessness. In 2018, we launched an additional 9 100-Day Challenges in communities across 2 diverse cohorts.

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HUD Cohort 2, which launched early in the year, consisted of 4 rural communities across the US. Over the course of their 100-Day Challenge, 188 youth and young adults were housed into safe and stable housing, in addition to strengthening their coordinated community response to youth homelessness. For a full list of these communities’ goals and results, view their dashboards here.

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As we announced in our last newsletter, HUD Cohort 3 launched in November 2018. These 5 communities just recently passed the 50-day mark, and the results so far have been amazing. Check out the ambitious goals they set, and their dashboards outlining their progress.

We also want to give a huge shout out to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development for funding this work, HomeBase and A Way Home America for being our partners in the movement, as well as NAEH and the True Colors Fund for bringing awareness to this heartbreaking issue. We couldn’t do it without you!

Over the course of the 16 completed Challenges so far, over 1900 youth and young adults have been housed into safe and stable housing. And we aren’t done yet! Cohort 4 will be launching in early 2019, with another to follow shortly after - so be sure to stay tuned for our official announcement on the participating communities soon. Together, we can #EndYouthHomelessness!

Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative 100-Day Challenge

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In mid-2018, we partnered with the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative to launch 100-Day Challenges on system-involved young people and families in Albuquerque, NM and Sarpy County, NE. In Albuquerque, some very significant improvements were made to the systems that connect young people with adults, the community, education, and how the different organizations collaborate. In Sarpy County, not only did they make improvements to their local coordination, but 51 young adults and families increased their financial stability - exceeding their original goal. View the full write-up here.

Youth Collaboratory

Over the past year, we partnered with Youth Collaboratory, formerly known as MANY, to help facilitate the Coordinated Entry Learning Collaborative. The CELC began in 2016 with 9 communities, to provide a space for discussion on how to overcome some of the challenges that were being faced with their coordinated community response to youth homelessness. In 2018, 19 communities joined the CELC and RRI supported the great learning and discussions that took place. The CELC convenes in person on February 20th, and we look forward to continuing to support the effort!

Lehigh Valley 100-Day Challenge on Homelessness

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In October, with funding from the Harry C. Trexler Trust, we launched a 100-Day Challenge in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania to help address homelessness within their community. Check out the segment by PBS39 outlining their Challenge so far. Lehigh Valley’s 100-Day Challenge officially wraps in February, and a full summary of results and learning will be forthcoming!

Strengthening our Curriculum

An important part of our work is learning from every experience, and applying this into our ever-evolving curriculum. With funding from the Melville Charitable Trust, we strengthened our programs and developed a new training model, which is being adapted for use in the Statewide Youth Homelessness 100-Day Challenges being launched in March 2019.

And as you know, the end of the 100-Day Challenge is just the beginning for sustainable system change. With funding from the Butler Family Fund, we made significant additions to our post 100-Day Challenge work, in order to better support leaders, teams, and communities on their continued journey.

What’s Next?

As busy as 2018 was, we have no intentions of slowing down. We already have several new projects (some mentioned here) planned, and are always looking for more. Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on Twitter or Facebook so you can stay up to date on all things RRI.

Onward to 2019!

El Norte: Enfrentan reto en equipo: dan golpe a rezago judicial (English Translation)

English translation of the article Enfrentan reto en equipo: dan golpe a rezago judicial, from El Norte on the 100-Day Challenge in Monterrey, Mexico. 

Stanford Social Innovation Review: Mobilize Communities for Homeless Vets

Ray of hope amidst the dark clouds...Article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review on how the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development and the Interagency Council on Homelessness leveraged RRIs 100-Day Challenges to turbocharge community efforts to end homelessness among veterans, and provided a model for doing government differently.