BJA's Justice Today
August 2010
In the Spotlight
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Donnelly College in Kansas City, Kansas has offered classes at the Lansing Correctional Facility since 2001 as an extension of its mission to "serve those who might not otherwise be served" in higher education. Named the Lansing Prison Program, Donnelly began its prison education program to fill a need after Pell Grants were made unavailable to prisoners in the 1990s and many higher education programs in prisons also became unavailable. The program is one of the few that has been accredited to offer an associate degree program at a correctional facility. Inmates are required to pay a third of the cost of their tuition while Donnelly raises funds to cover the remaining tuition and program costs.

Roger Werholtz, Secretary of the Kansas Department of Corrections, will be the featured speaker at Donnelly College's Lansing Correctional Facility commencement ceremony on August 27, 2010. Werholtz has served as Secretary since 2003 and proudly supports Donnelly's Lansing Prison Program. Since then, more than 325 inmates have taken classes, 14 have earned their associate degrees, and 155 have been released from prison. Of the 155, only three have been reconvicted of a crime and are back in prison. The college hopes its program will serve as a cost-efficient, effective model to help lower recidivism across the country. In FY 2009, the College was awarded a $223,000 grant from the Department of Justice to support program operations at Lansing for three years.

News You Can Use

The Obama Administration recently announced the U.S. Government's intellectual property enforcement strategy that will help protect the rights of intellectual property owners and help protect consumers from unsafe or defective products. Pursuant to the strategy, BJA and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) are presenting a one-day, no-cost Intellectual Property Crime Summit, entitled Real Crime-Real American Jobs: Why You Should Care About Intellectual Property Rights, on September 30, 2010 in Pasadena, CA. This summit will inform law enforcement and industry professionals about various aspects of intellectual property crime and its enforcement, including its damaging effects to the economy, the variety of health and safety risks it poses to the public, and its relationship with gangs, organized crime groups, and terrorists. More

Coming soon! BJA will be providing a language translation tool on our web site to improve access for people with Limited English Proficiency (LEP). Persons with LEP refer to individuals who do not speak English as their primary language and who have limited ability to read, speak, write, or understand English. This tool, called Babel Fish, will appear on BJA's web page and will translate web content with the click of a button. BJA will also provide access to other translation tools.

Grants and Funding

All FY 2010 BJA grant solicitations are closed, and applications are currently under review. BJA expects to announce all grant awards by October 1, and they will be posted on our web site.

BJA encourages stakeholder feedback on its solicitations and award processes. Send your feedback to https://www.bja.gov/About/contact.html.

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?

Congress has allocated $37.5 million to the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Partnership Fund for Program Integrity Innovation (the Fund). Based on proposals submitted by state and local government and nonprofit organizations, this program provides seed money to federal agencies to fund innovative pilot projects to reduce improper payments and to improve administrative efficiency and service delivery, while reducing access barriers and protecting beneficiaries. In addition, OMB will select project proposals, based on their return on investment and impact on beneficiaries, which state or local agencies may then pilot. OMB has already received several promising ideas addressing a range of topics, including improvements in data sharing and IT infrastructure, eligibility determination, service delivery, reducing payment error, and the grants management processes. If you have a specific idea or innovative solution to address a problem related to criminal justice that fits within the scope of the Fund, and/or if you would like a chance to compete for funding to implement your idea in your community, please contact BJA.

Featured Program

In FY 2009, BJA awarded a grant to George Mason University (GMU) to develop a Risk, Needs & Responsivity (RNR) simulation tool. RNR is a model that corrections managers use to identify services and design case management strategies targeting the risk and need profile of the offender population. Dr. Faye Taxman and her team at GMU developed this tool to enable policymakers to determine what forms of treatment and punishment are going to be most effective with which offender populations; manage offender risks inside and out of prisons; and assist in making release decisions. Researchers suggest that the proper utilization of these tools in decision making and administration can have a significant impact in reducing correctional costs without jeopardizing public safety. Visit http://cls.gmu.edu/ace for more information.

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