Criminal Justice Improvement Commission Improved Criminal Code

Criminal Justice Improvement Commission Improved Criminal Code

In 2014, the Delaware General Assembly adopted epilogue in its Budget Act for fiscal year 2015 that created the Criminal Justice Improvement Committee (“CJIC”). The CJIC was charged generally with seeking opportunities for efficiencies, cost savings, and pursuing other improvements in the criminal justice system.

One specific area of the CJIC’s legislative mandate reads: “The Committee shall review opportunities for efficiencies in the criminal justice system, including but not limited to the following areas:

  • statutes in the criminal code, identifying disproportionate, redundant, outdated, duplicative or inefficient statutes;
  • crimes that should or should not constitute potential jail time;. . .”

After the Epilogue was reauthorized in 2015, this Code Improvement Project was initiated under the CJIC as a comprehensive response to its mandate. As a practical matter, it is impossible to determine if a criminal statute is “disproportionate, redundant, outdated, duplicative or inefficient” until it is compared to all other criminal statutes. Additionally, since the General Assembly adopted the Delaware Criminal Code of 1973, new insights have emerged regarding what a criminal code should address, and how it should do so. Moreover, the broader legal landscape has changed greatly. This Code Improvement Project was predicated on the belief that — as was the case in 1973, and may well be the case again in another forty or fifty years — it was necessary to take a step back and conduct a comprehensive review of the Delaware Criminal Code.

The two volumes of the Final Report (March 22, 2019) from the CJIC are located below.

Final Report to the Delaware General Assembly's Criminal Justice Improvement Committee

Cover letter to Sen. McDowell on Final Report

Vol. 1—Improved Code Text (view entire Volume )

Vol. 2—Official Commentary (view entire Volume )

Additional Material