BJA's Justice Today
November 2012   
In the Spotlight

Achieving Interoperability across the Commonwealth of Virginia through NIEM
by Joseph Grubbs, VA Data Governance Service Lead & HITSAC Administrator (reprinted with permission)

Photo of Joseph Grubbs

In May 2012, Virginia's General Assembly adopted language in the 2012 Appropriation Act requiring the Commonwealth's Secretary of Technology to work with all cabinet secretaries and their agencies to standardize “citizen-centric” data. The move reflects the legislature's increased awareness of the need to reduce data redundancy, enforce data quality, and realize a higher return on investment for data assets.

The Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA), working on behalf of the Secretary and the Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the Commonwealth, has centered its compliance strategy on migrating Commonwealth agencies toward conformance with the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM).*

NIEM logoBy integrating NIEM into the Commonwealth's enterprise information architecture program, VITA will be able to enforce a common discipline, an established, stable set of standards, and a shared vocabulary to support semantic interoperability for person-related data across state government.

Continue reading…

* NIEM is a partnership of the U.S. Departments of Justice (including BJA), Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services.

News You Can Use

New BJA NTTAC Web Site Launched
The BJA National Training and Technical Assistance Center (NTTAC) is pleased to announce the official launch of its new web site. The enhanced BJA NTTAC web site shares new information and tools to assist criminal justice professionals in the effort to enhance the nation's state, local, and tribal justice systems. Explore the new web site at

BJA Releases Strategic Plan
BJA has released its Strategic Plan for fiscal years 2013–2016. The plan is based on one overarching guiding principle: Reduce crime, recidivism, and unnecessary confinement, and promote a safe and fair criminal justice system. Read the Strategic Plan to learn more about the specific goals and strategies that will guide BJA's future efforts.

Other news:
The Center for Court Innovation has launched the National Drug Court Online Learning System.

Violence Interdiction: A Proactive Approach to Mitigating Conflict training is available from the Virginia Center for Policing Innovation.

The Congressional Badge of Bravery nomination period opens December 14, 2012.

Grants and Funding

BJA has established the Grant Writing and Management Academy for criminal justice practitioners and state, local, and tribal jurisdictions (including community and faith-based partners) that apply for or receive federal grants. This training provides an overview of project planning, management, administration, and assessment of federally funded programs. The training encourages participants to think strategically about how they develop and fund projects. Visit BJA's Grant Writing and Management Academy for the tools you need to apply for funding in FY 2013.  We also recommend that you take a look at the Office of Justice Programs' Grants 101 training which also provides helpful advice on how to create and submit an application for funding.

This Month in Law Enforcement

Leading by Legacy was developed to provide law enforcement leaders and command staff serving rural communities (as defined by the Office of Management and Budget) with a training curriculum to help them improve their leadership skills and the consistency of services provided by their agencies during changes in leadership. In early November, Leading by Legacy held its final training for rural leaders, which was attended by individuals from law enforcement agencies in 20 different states. Over the past 2 years, this BJA/Recovery Act-funded training, coordinated by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), provided cost-free training to more than 360 chiefs, sheriffs, and command staff from 235 rural agencies in 45 states.

As many law enforcement leaders and staff from agencies that serve small communities which did not meet the rural criteria had to be denied access to the training, BJA provided additional funds to IACP to allow it to continue offering this valuable training and expand enrollment to include leaders and command staff from small agencies which serve populations of 50,000 or less. For additional information about the Leading by Legacy training and 2013 training dates and locations, visit the IACP web page.

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?

Bulletproof Vest Partnership logoSince 1999, the BJA Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) Program has reimbursed jurisdictions for the costs of more than 1 million vests—1,084,081 as of October 17, 2012. The BVP Program is designed to provide critical resources to state, local, and tribal jurisdictions for the sole purpose of purchasing bullet-resistant body armor for sworn law enforcement officers.

Learn more about the BVP Program.

Featured Program

BJA Participates in Landmark Justice Reinvestment Bill Signing in Pennsylvania
On October 25, 2012, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signed House Bill 135, the second phase of the Justice Reinvestment Initiative that will redirect funds from corrections to communities. This legislation is the product of a bipartisan, interbranch working group established by Governor Corbett in January. The Justice Reinvestment Working Group received intensive technical assistance from the Council of State Governments Justice Center and the Pew Center on the States, in partnership with BJA.

In his comments about the Justice Reinvestment Bill, Governor Corbett remarked "The answer isn't always to build bigger prisons. Sometimes the answer lies in smarter solutions that help us build fewer prisons and better communities." 

Read the press release, Governor Corbett Signs Justice Reinvestment; Other Law Enforcement Bills, or view Governor Corbett's remarks.

Secretary of Corrections John Wetzel, Governor Corbett, and State Senator Stewart  Greenleaf
Secretary of Corrections John Wetzel, Governor Corbett, and State Senator Stewart Greenleaf

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