BJA's Justice Today
January 2013   
In the Spotlight

BJA, NCJA, and JRSA Host Executive Session on Evidence-Based Policy

OJP DAAG Jim Burch, BJA Deputy Director Kristen Mahoney, and BJA Director Denise O’Donnell
OJP DAAG Jim Burch, BJA Deputy Director Kristen Mahoney, and BJA Director Denise O'Donnell

On January 8–9, the Executive Session on Evidence-Based Policy and Practice brought together executive staff of state agencies designated by Governors to manage federal criminal justice assistance, Directors of the states’ Statistical Analysis Centers (SACs), and federal officials from the Office of Justice Programs and BJA. Hosted by BJA, the National Criminal Justice Association (NCJA), and the Justice Research and Statistics Association (JRSA), the agenda built upon training and technical assistance provided since:

  • An initial focus group of criminal justice State Administering Agencies (SAAs) on evidence-based programs (EBP) in January 2009
  • A series of regional conferences during 2010
  • The launch of the National Center for Justice Planning web site
  • Technical assistance delivery to more than 20 states
  • Surveys of SAA and SAC directors regarding EBPs 

The agenda also highlighted BJA's priority of embedding EBP in all its grant programs and JRSA's focus on using data to support evidence-based programs and data-driven decisionmaking.

For more information, view the agenda and the presentations.

News You Can Use

Like BJA on Facebook
FacebookBJA has launched its Facebook page! Like the page today and be the first to hear about new resources, funding opportunities, upcoming events, and other recent information from experts in the field.

Statewide Law Enforcement/Mental Health Efforts Publication Released
The CSG Justice Center and BJA released Statewide Law Enforcement/Mental Health Efforts: Strategies to Support and Sustain Local Initiatives, which examines how states have developed structures and standards to make police encounters with people with mental illnesses safer for all involved and to produce better mental health and criminal justice system outcomes.

Mental Health Court Curriculum Now Available
With BJA support, the CSG Justice Center launched Developing a Mental Health Court: An Interdisciplinary Curriculum, a free, online multimedia resource with the information teams need to plan, implement, sustain, or simply learn about mental health courts based on research and best practices from the field.

Grants and Funding

View all FY 2013 BJA and OJP open solicitations at:
GRANTS.GOV logo BJA continues to post competitive grant solicitations via, the federal government's central storehouse for information on federal grant opportunities. You can subscribe to's free grant email alert service to receive notifications of new grant opportunity postings and updates; you do not need to be a registered user to sign up.  Be aware that if you plan to apply for competitive federal funding, the registration process can take between 3–5 business days or as long as 4 weeks if all steps are not completed in a timely manner. So please, register early!

SAM Registration
To register in, organizations must obtain a DUNS number and register with the federal System for Award Management (SAM), which replaces the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) database as the repository for standard information about federal financial assistance applicants, recipients, and subrecipients. OJP requires all applicants for federal financial assistance—other than individuals—to maintain current registrations in the SAM database.

This Month in Law Enforcement

University of Oregon demonstrationDuring the 1960s, university and college campuses were often the sites for anti-war demonstrations, and as recent as October 2012, students at the University of Oregon were demonstrating against tuition hikes totaling more than 15 percent over the last 2 years.

Protests on college and university campuses present numerous issues and challenges for campus public safety officials. To help address these issues, BJA sponsored a Campus Public Order Focus Group Meeting on December 12–13, 2012. Hosted by the University of Wisconsin–Madison, this meeting was the second such effort at an open forum for discussion and idea sharing among campus law enforcement and other public safety agencies. 

Representatives of 12 of the "Big Ten" colleges and universities and 11 other schools discussed issues related to civil disorder on college and university campuses; explored resultant policy implications; and identified best practices for promoting order while preserving privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties in the midst of public protests. A report of key issues identified during the discussions will be made available to participants and others responsible for maintaining the safety and security of our nation's college and university campuses and protecting the students and staff during demonstrations and protests. For additional information regarding this project or to obtain a copy of the report, contact David Adams, BJA Senior Policy Advisor, at David.Adams@

Public Safety Officers' Benefits (PSOB) Program

Enacted in 1976, the Public Safety Officers' Benefits (PSOB) Program provides death, disability, and education benefits to those eligible for the program. For details regarding these federal benefits for law enforcement officers, firefighters, and first responders killed or catastrophically disabled in the line of duty, call the PSOB Office toll-free at 888–744–6513 or 202–307–0635, or visit the PSOB web site.

Did You Know?

The American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section Racial Justice Improvement Project, with support from BJA, invites local courts, district attorney offices, police departments, public defender offices, and not-for-profit (501-c-3) organizations active in criminal justice to apply for one of four mini-grants available to support the implementation of a local racial justice improvement task force. The task force will be focused on addressing policy within the criminal justice system that contributes to the racially disparate impact of the criminal justice system. Applications are due by February 1, 2013. Read more.

Featured Program

The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center recently released Adults with Behavioral Health Needs under Correctional Supervision: A Shared Framework for Reducing Recidivism and Promoting Recovery. The report is written for policymakers, system administrators, and front-line service providers committed to improving outcomes for men and women with behavioral health disorders on probation or returning to the community from prison or jail.

"There are large numbers of individuals with mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders cycling through our prisons and jails,” said BJA Director Denise O’Donnell. “This report draws on the science of recidivism reduction and what works to address mental health and substance use disorders to promote the right people getting the right integrated interventions at the right times."

See the full report, FAQs, and related resources.

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