BJA's Justice Today
September 2011   
In the Spotlight

In Memoriam

How many thoughts and feelings have been captured from September 11, 2001 and the days leading to this 10th Anniversary?

Within a day of the terrorist attacks against the United States, BJA and the Public Safety Officers' Benefits (PSOB) Office were striving to find ways to provide vital assistance to America's public safety communities reeling from the loss of hundreds and hundreds of fallen heroes. From onsite support to expedite death benefits to the loved ones of fallen firefighters, law enforcement officers, and first responders, to today's efforts that help surviving spouses and children achieve their college and university goals through federal educational assistance, BJA and PSOB remember these extraordinary public safety officers, and convey our unending gratitude to their survivors for their supreme sacrifice.

News You Can Use

photo: Jim Burch
BJA is pleased to announce that OJP Assistant Attorney General Laurie O. Robinson has selected Jim Burch as Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Operations and Management for the Office of Justice Programs. Jim leaves a long and proud legacy behind him at BJA and his strong leadership and passion for our mission have made BJA the extraordinary bureau it is today. More

September Is National Recovery Month
National Recovery Month promotes the societal benefits of treatment for substance use and mental disorders, celebrates people in recovery, lauds the contributions of treatment providers, and promotes the message that recovery in all its forms is possible. BJA is proud to support recovery efforts in our nation's communities through programs such as Drug Courts and Justice and Mental Health Collaborations.

New Guide Available for Probation Officials
BJA and the Council of State Governments Justice Center recently released A Ten Step Guide to Transforming Probation Departments to Reduce Recidivism. The steps outlined will help probation officials refocus the agency toward reducing crime and re-offense rates among probationers and can provide an action plan for realizing the practices of recidivism reduction.

National Defender Training Program
Applications are now being accepted for continuing legal education programs, concentrating on forensic issues at trial, client-centered representation, leadership, and other topics. The next training will be held October 14–15 in Atlanta, GA. For more information, visit:

Grants and Funding

All FY 2011 BJA grant applications are currently under review. BJA expects to announce all grant awards by October 1, and they will be posted on our 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?

On learning that the World Trade Center had been struck, Father Mychal Judge, Chaplain of the Fire Department of New York, rushed to the site to offer aid. Struck by falling debris, Father Judge was recognized as the first victim of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Father Judge's mission lives on in BJA's PSOB Program, which, following that tragic day, now provides benefits to the survivors of Fire and Police Chaplains responding to emergencies, and recognizes life insurance beneficiaries of fallen public safety officers as being eligible for the PSOB benefit.

Featured Program

On September 7, in Alexandria, Virginia, BJA Director Denise O'Donnell recognized the successes of the initial pilot group of Smart Policing grantees at the Smart Policing Initiative (SPI) National Conference, sponsored by BJA in partnership with CNA Corporation. The Smart Policing Initiative allows local law enforcement agencies to implement evidenced-based approaches to address significant crime problems in their communities and to work with researchers to measure the effectiveness of the responses. SPI is a field-initiated, competitively awarded grant program in which each police agency/research team identifies the crime problem, the law enforcement response, and the research design to be implemented in their community. SPI is making an important contribution to the knowledge base of "what works" in policing.  Recognized for their accomplishments and contributions to the nation's law enforcement community are Smart Policing teams from Boston (MA), Glendale (AZ), Lansing (MI), Los Angeles (CA), Memphis (TN), Palm Beach (FL), Philadelphia (PA), Reno (NV), Savannah (GA), and Winston-Salem (NC).

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