BJA's Justice Today
September 2012   
In the Spotlight

BJA Director O'Donnell Announces FY 2012 Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Grant Awards in Brooklyn, NY

New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, BJA Director Denise E. O'Donnell, and U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Loretta E. Lynch
New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, BJA Director Denise E. O'Donnell, and U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Loretta E. Lynch
On September 25, in the Brownsville community of Brooklyn, NY, BJA held a press event to announce the FY 2012 Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation (BCJI) grant awards. BJA Director Denise E. O'Donnell, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Loretta Lynch, Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes, New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, and community business leader Mark Tanis all gave inspirational remarks about the urgent need to reduce the gun violence in Brownsville. The BCJI grant is designed to enable Brownsville to become a safer place for residents to live, work, and raise families.

The BCJI program is designed to enhance the capacity of local and tribal communities to effectively target and address significant crime issues through collaborative cross-sector approaches that help advance broader neighborhood development goals. 

The Center for Court Innovation/Fund for the City of New York, located in the Brownsville neighborhood, is among the 15 grants that BJA will be awarding to localities across the country. The project—called the Brownsville Anti-Violence Project—involves a cross-sector partnership, which includes the Center for Court Innovation (fiscal agent and project researcher), King's County District Attorney's Office, New York City Police Department, U.S. Attorney's Office, New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, Pitkin Avenue Business Improvement District, Brownsville Partnership (consortium of service providers), and local residents.

Read the press release
View NY1's news story about the Brownsville grant
Read more about the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation program

News You Can Use

October Is Crime Prevention Month!
Celebrate Safe Communities logoOctober is Crime Prevention Month, a time to Celebrate Safe Communities (CSC). CSC—a partnership of BJA and the National Crime Prevention Council—is crime prevention done the right way: local people working with local law enforcement to address local issues.

Homicide Investigation White Paper
Read how BJA is partnering with the Institute for Intergovernmental Research and the International Association of Chiefs of Police to identify the characteristics of high-quality investigations for agencies seeking to improve their investigative response to homicide.

Grants and Funding

BJA expects to announce all FY 2012 grant awards by October 1. For a listing of all OJP grants awarded so far, visit the OJP web site. The final list, to be available in October, will be sortable by solicitation, state, county and congressional district, as in previous fiscal years.

This Month in Law Enforcement

Medicine bottleEvery day, 2,000 children abuse a prescription medicine for the first time. Prescription medicines are now the most commonly abused drugs among 12 to 13 year olds. Two-thirds of the kids and teens who abuse prescription drugs get them from family members and friends. 

Since 2007, BJA has funded a variety of drug prevention programs through the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. The Partnership will launch its newest initiative—the Medicine Abuse Project—the week of September 23–29, 2012. BJA is one of several federal partners helping to promote this important initiative aimed at preventing half a million teens from abusing medicine within the next 5 years. For additional information, and to learn how you can get actively involved in this important initiative, visit the Medicine Abuse Project web page.

As part of the launch of this new initiative, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has organized a National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on September 29, 2012, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. In all 50 states and U.S. territories, you can drop off unwanted or expired medicines at thousands of take-back locations, getting them out of your home (and out of your children's reach). Find a take-back site near you.

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?
Over the past year and a half, BJA has been in the process of revising the performance measures for the Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program. The process of gathering information to revise the measures included telephone interviews with JAG grantees, a focus group with 14 JAG grantees, meetings with stakeholders, and discussions with consultants in the field. BJA staff also provided input and review. The performance measures were revised and reorganized based on the input received from all sources and were then reviewed by the members of the focus group, consultants, BJA staff, and Government Accountability Office staff.  Several presentations on the methods used to revise the performance measures were made at professional criminal justice conferences, and a series of webinar trainings was also held with JAG grantees to explain the new performance measures.

Additionally, in May 2012, BJA issued a customer satisfaction survey to JAG grantees in order to understand their opinions about grant monitoring, performance measures, and training and communication related to the JAG Program changes. The complete results of the survey will be available on the BJA web site next month.

Featured Program
Identifying Emerging Crime Trends in Law Enforcement
The Law Enforcement Forecasting Group (LEFG) helps BJA anticipate emerging crime trends and identify developments in tactics, strategies, and technologies that might assist law enforcement agencies provide quality police services. Composed of 17 law enforcement executives and criminal justice researchers, LEFG members provide invaluable environmental scanning that BJA uses to develop new demonstration programs to test concepts and to create training and technical assistance programs that are immediately relevant to the law enforcement field. LEFG members have identified five top priorities for BJA law enforcement programs: 1) crime analysis capacity building, 2) gun violence, 3) information sharing, 4) human resources (recruiting, training, retaining), and 5) social media. The latest meeting occurred September 17-18.

For more information, visit the LEFG web page, or to suggest trends, technology, and practices for consideration, contact Michael Medaris, BJA Senior Policy Advisor, at

A photo of meeting

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