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BJA's Justice Today
July 2013   
In the Spotlight

Supervising individuals recently released from corrections facilities and preparing them for successful reintegration back into their communities are critical to protecting the public in communities across the United States. BJA strives to enhance public safety and support the corrections field by administering various programs through:

  • Federal award assistance to criminal justice agencies and community providers.
  • Providing training and technical assistance (TTA) resources to the field, covering broad subject areas.
  • Assistance through alternatives to traditional incarceration.

The corrections-focused programs and TTA that BJA administers include the following:

Second Chance Act (SCA)
The purpose of the SCA reentry programs is to reduce recidivism, incorporate research and evidence-based strategies in both pre- and post-release settings, and evaluate the effectiveness and impact of reentry programs across various subject areas.

Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)
National PREA Resource Center Logo BJA provides PREA site-based comprehensive demonstration projects awards to states, localities, and tribes that focus on establishing zero-tolerance in confinement settings. BJA also administers the National PREA Resource Center, which provides resources to further the elimination of sexual assault, victimization, and staff sexual misconduct in confinement environments.

National Reentry Resource Center (NRRC)
National Reentry  Resource Center (NRRC) 'A project of the CSG Justice Center' The National Reentry Resource Center serves as the TTA provider for OJP's SCA site-based adult and juvenile grantees. In addition, the NRRC provides distance-learning education, TTA, and other reentry resources to the field, which includes state, tribal, and local governments and U.S. territories; service providers; nonprofit organizations; corrections institutions; and people returning to their communities.

Discover Corrections 'Extraordinary Choices. Extraordinary Rewards.' Discover Corrections
BJA is helping to address workforce development issues in the corrections field by providing funding to the American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) for the Discover Corrections web site, which focuses on corrections as a profession and presents a comprehensive overview of the correctional field in a very positive way. The site serves as a resource for anyone seeking a better understanding of the profession and provides a listing of job opportunities. This innovative project is a collaborative effort of BJA, APPA, the American Correctional Association, the American Jail Association, and the Center for Innovative Public Policies.

News You Can Use

Register Now for These Upcoming Events

National Parole Resource Center
National  Parole Resource Center The National Parole Resource Center supports and shapes the future of parole as an increasingly effective stakeholder in the criminal justice system. Awarded to the Center for Effective Public Policy, in partnership with the Association of Paroling Authorities International, and operated in collaboration with BJA and the National Institute of Corrections, the center maintains links with a growing network of organizations that provides information and guidance on substantive topics and related resources.

Federal Interagency Reentry Council
Photo of the Federal Interagency  Reentry Council In January 2011, Attorney General Eric Holder convened the inaugural meeting of the Federal Interagency Reentry Council. The Council has empowered staff—now representing 20 federal departments and agencies—to work toward the overall mission of making communities safer by reducing recidivism and victimization, assisting those who return from prisons and jails in becoming productive citizens, and saving taxpayer dollars by lowering the direct and collateral costs of incarceration. The Council's web site also includes Reentry MythBusters, a series of fact sheets designed to clarify existing federal policies that affect formerly incarcerated individuals and their families in areas such as public housing, employment, parental rights, Medicaid suspension/termination, voting rights, and more.

Grants and Funding

As of July 15, all BJA FY 2013 competitive solicitations are now closed. BJA expects to announce all FY 2013 grant awards by October 1, and they will be announced on the OJP web site.

This Month in Law Enforcement

Guidance for Planning Large-Scale Events
Thumbnail of 'Guidance for Planning Large-Scale Events' In June, BJA released guidance for law enforcement and local governments for planning and managing large-scale events. The guidance includes three documents synthesizing best practices relating to security planning. They are the result of an analysis of information provided from the Tampa, Florida, and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina police departments as they planned and executed operations for the 2012 Presidential Nominating Conventions. The reports are a product of BJA, working in partnership with CNA, a nonprofit research organization.

The guidance contains the following documents:

  • Managing Large-Scale Security Events: A Planning Primer for Local Law Enforcement Agencies
  • Command, Control, and Coordination: A Quick-Look Analysis of the Tampa Police Department's Operations During the 2012 Republican National Convention
  • Command, Control, and Coordination: A Quick-Look Analysis of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department's Operations during the 2012 Democratic National Convention

These documents represent a first-time analysis of this nature, and are available on BJA's Law Enforcement Planning for Major Events web page for use in planning the next set of Presidential Nominating Conventions or other large-scale event.

Public Safety Officers' Benefits (PSOB) Program
PSOB image Enacted in 1976, the Public Safety Officers' Benefits (PSOB) Program provides death, disability, and education benefits to those eligible for the program.

PSOB Program Updates
During National Police Week 2013, Attorney General Holder and the Office of Justice Programs’ Acting Assistant Attorney General Leary announced several improvements to the PSOB Program following the completion of a comprehensive review of the program ordered by the Attorney General in May 2012. In the coming months, the PSOB Office will move to a paperless electronic case management system; the case process will be streamlined, consolidating legal and other functions within BJA; and duplicative documentation will be eliminated.  BJA will continue to convene its series of stakeholder listening sessions to ensure transparency and a positive dialogue between the PSOB Office and its public safety partners in the field.

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 Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) Program provides grant funds to state and U.S. territories to develop and improve treatment programs in state and local detention and correctional facilities. RSAT funds are also available to create and maintain community-based aftercare services for offenders. Aftercare services involve the coordination between the correctional substance abuse treatment programs and other social service and rehabilitation programs, such as education and job training, parole supervision, halfway houses, faith-based mentoring programs, self-help, and peer group support programs. BJA's Planning Office recently released a Program Performance Report that details performance data reported by RSAT grantees for April-September 2012. 

Featured Program

Smart Probation Program: Reducing Prison Populations, Saving Money, and Creating Safer Communities

Initiated in FY 2012, BJA's Smart Probation Program provides resources to states, units of local government, and federally recognized Indian tribes to develop more effective and evidenced-based probation practices that will effectively address offenders' needs and reduce recidivism. The purpose of this program is to improve probation success rates, which will in turn improve public safety, reduce returns to prisons and jails, and save taxpayer dollars. Funds can be used to implement evidence-based supervision strategies to improve outcomes for probationers. The objectives of Smart Probation demonstration projects are to:

  • Improve supervision strategies that will reduce recidivism and provide TTA and policy support.
  • Promote and increase collaboration among agencies and officials who work in probation, pretrial, law enforcement, and related community corrections fields.
  • Develop and implement strategies for the identification, supervision, and treatment of "high risk/high needs" probationers that may serve as a model for other agencies throughout the nation.
  • Objectively assess and/or evaluate the impact of innovative and evidenced-based supervision and treatment strategies.
  • Demonstrate the use and efficacy of evidence-based practices and principles to improve the delivery of probation supervision strategies and practices.
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