BJA's Justice Today
March 2013   
In the Spotlight

BJA Director Denise E. O’Donnell
BJA Director Denise E. O’Donnell

On February 28–March 1, BJA, in partnership with the Council of State Governments Justice Center, convened the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program National Training and Technical Assistance Event entitled "Reducing Recidivism and Promoting Recovery." The gathering served to help state and local government officials and other agents of change develop and implement initiatives that are designed to improve outcomes for people with mental illness who are involved in the justice system. National experts and state and local officials with experience in the design and implementation of effective justice and mental health initiatives addressed a variety of topics to help jurisdictions direct the appropriate people to corresponding interventions, maximize available healthcare resources, and measure and communicate programmatic outcomes.

For more information about this event, go to

News You Can Use

Register for the Mortgage Fraud Virtual Conference
BJA and the Office for Victims of Crime have partnered with the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) to present the "Mortgage Fraud: Protecting Homeowners, Empowering Victims" virtual conference, which will be held April 10. Visit the NCPC web site for more information.
Maryland Is a G.R.E.A.T. logoState!
In a report on the Safe Schools Act of 2010, the Maryland Governor’s Office on Crime Control & Prevention highlighted the G.R.E.A.T. Program as an effective, evidence-based gang prevention program, currently used in 12 jurisdictions across the state. A G.R.E.A.T. Officer certification training course, offered free to any sworn law enforcement officer, will be held in Sykesville, MD on April 22-May 1. For more information or to register, visit the G.R.E.A.T. web site.

Online Forensic Guide Now Available
Screenshot of, a new online resource developed by the National Forensic Science Technology Center (NFSTC) and funded by BJA, makes it easy to understand the what, why, and how of forensic science. Developed with noted experts, "A Simplified Guide to Forensic Science" walks non-scientists through the key disciplines that are crucial to today’s investigative and judicial process.

Grants and Funding

BJA has released the following solicitations:

Encouraging Innovation: Field-Initiated Programs
Concept papers are due April 12, 2013

National Initiatives: Officer Safety and Wellness Initiative—VALOR
Applications are due May 2, 2013

Harold Rogers Prescription Drug Monitoring Program
Applications are due May 2, 2013

Smart Probation: Reducing Prison Populations, Saving Money, and Creating Safer Communities
Applications are due May 9, 2013

Tweet This Follow us on Twitter to learn about newly released solicitations.

View all FY 2013 BJA and OJP open solicitations.

This Month in Law Enforcement

National Gang Center logoIn 2009, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's National Youth Gang Center (1995–2009) and BJA's National Gang Center (2005–2009) merged into the consolidated National Gang Center (NGC). NGC conducts research on street gangs and serves as a clearinghouse for individuals and agencies seeking information, technical assistance, and training in the areas of gang prevention, intervention, suppression, and reentry.

Through funding from BJA, NGC offers anti-gang training for law enforcement personnel, including "Basic Training for Street Gang Investigators," "Gang Unit Supervision," "Gangs in Indian Country," and "Anti-Gang Seminar for Law Enforcement Chief Executives." Curricula are tailored to ensure geographic relevancy and are continually reviewed by subject-matter experts to identify needed updates resulting from emerging trends, threat assessments, and research data. These classes are provided tuition-free to members of law enforcement agencies within the geographical region where the training is being held.

For more information on resources, training, and technical assistance provided by NGC, contact James C. Chavis II, BJA Senior Policy Advisor, at and visit the NGC web site.  
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?

BJA supports numerous no-cost in-person and online trainings for law enforcement, first responders, and other public safety officers.

For example, BJA, in partnership with the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), will be providing "Approaching Alzheimer's" in-person training at five sites across the country in April and May. This training will feature in-depth instruction to help departments enhance their capacity to handle calls involving people with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia. To register or for additional information, go to the IACP Alzheimer's Initiatives web page.

Also available is "Addressing Crimes Committed Using Handheld Devices." This BJA-supported online training, developed by Drakontas, in partnership with Drexel University and BKForensics, provides law enforcement with the tools needed to identify, seize, and transport handheld devices and retrieve and examine the digital evidence that is stored on them.

BJA announces new and upcoming training on our web site, via Twitter and Facebook, and through our National Training and Technical Assistance Center.

Featured Program

Justice and Mental Health Collaboration in Arizona
Maricopa County, Arizona was awarded a BJA Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program expansion grant in FY 2010. The grant served to support a collaborative effort between Maricopa County Adult Probation and Magellan Health Services working to increase access to gender responsive, trauma-informed community treatment for women with co-occurring disorders leaving prison and transitioning to community supervision. Women with mental health and substance use disorders are quickly identified through a data-sharing agreement between the Arizona Department of Health Services and the Arizona Department of Corrections. The women are also assessed by the Probation Department using screening and assessment tools. These criminogenic risks/needs are then shared with the treatment provider to assist in tailoring services specific to each woman. The Probation Department refers women to Magellan, which arranges for assessment and intake into one of two community treatment agencies prior to release. Each woman is connected with a Forensic Peer Support Specialist who assists her during the transition, including transitional housing for the women who would otherwise release as homeless. As a result, 51 women have received assistance in their transition from prison into their community. Only two have been detained for new offenses. None of the women were released homeless and all have maintained housing.

Like us on FACEBOOK
Follow us on TWITTER
Printer-Friendly Version
E-mail the current issue
Subscribe to Justice Today
Browse the archives
Send us your feedback

Bureau of Justice Assistance Office of Justice Programs Office of Justice Programs