Jean Welch Hill takes helm as Director of SLCo Office of Criminal Justice Initiatives

This month, Jean Welch Hill started as the new Director of the Salt Lake County Office of Criminal Justice Initiatives and the Director of the Salt Lake County Criminal Justice Advisory Council (CJAC). The Office of Criminal Justice Initiatives advances solutions to the County’s criminal justice challenges by convening and staffing the Criminal Justice Advisory Council (CJAC) and its workgroups, conducting criminal justice system analysis, supporting innovative programming, and advising the Salt Lake County Mayor on criminal justice issues.

“One of the most pressing issues in Salt Lake County is to advance solutions that will move individuals successfully through our homeless, mental health, and criminal justice systems,” said Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson. “There are many opportunities and a lot of work to do, and Jean is more than up to the task.”

Prior to this role, Jean Welch Hill has worked as an attorney investigating and prosecuting educator misconduct cases; teacher at the high school and college levels; writer and presenter on a wide range of legal, ethical, and justice-related issues; and advocate on the local, state, and federal levels. She has served on the Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice, as a board member of Shelter the Homeless, and as co-chair of the Salt Lake Valley Coalition to End Homelessness. She has also served on the Gun Violence Prevention board, Utah International Charter School board, and the Utah Investigative Journalism Project advisory board.  Hill is an award-winning columnist and former editorial writer, and mother to three young men.

“I am grateful for this opportunity to work with county leaders on comprehensive approaches to address the challenges that keep some of our most vulnerable residents cycling between homelessness and jail, among other issues,” said Hill.

The Criminal Justice Advisory Council (CJAC) is created by Salt Lake County ordinance and serves as an advisory committee to the Salt Lake County Mayor and County Council. CJAC works collaboratively to shape criminal justice policy and County initiatives. The committee is made up of law enforcement, prosecutors, defense counsel, corrections, courts, human services, and elected officials at the city, county, and state levels.

Jean Welch Hill is filling the vacancy created when the previous director Judge Jojo Liu was appointed to preside over the Salt Lake City Justice Court.