BJA's Justice Today
November 2013   
In the Spotlight
Second Chance Reauthorization Act Introduced
On November 13, to mark the 5-year anniversary of the Second Chance Act, Senate and House leaders—including Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Congressmen Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Danny K. Davis (D-IL), Howard Coble (R-NC), Bobby Scott (D-VA), Marcia Fudge (D-OH), Spencer Bachus (R-AL), and Steve Chabot (R-OH)—introduced legislation to reauthorize the landmark act. The bill expands the number of grant programs available and promotes increased accountability and outcomes from grantees.

Since 2008, through Second Chance Act programs, nearly 600 grants, totaling approximately $300 million, have been made to increase public safety and reduce recidivism. On November 14, the Justice Department announced that more than $62 million in FY 2013 funding was awarded to strengthen reentry, probation, and parole programs.

BJA  Associate Deputy Director Ruby Qazilbash, Matt Chase (CEO, National Association  of Counties), Congressman Scott, Senator Portman, Mike Thompson (Director, CSG  Justice Center), Wade Henderson (President, Leadership Conference on Civil and  Human Rights), and Craig DeRoche (President, Prison Fellowship).
BJA Associate Deputy Director Ruby Qazilbash, Matt Chase (CEO, National Association of Counties), Congressman Scott, Senator Portman, Mike Thompson (Director, CSG Justice Center), Wade Henderson (President, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights), and Craig DeRoche (President, Prison Fellowship).

At the Second Chance Act Reauthorization event, the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center released Reentry Matters: Strategies and Successes of Second Chance Act Grantees Across the United States. This publication, sponsored by BJA, highlights reentry programs which focus on areas vital to reintegration back into the community, including employment, education, mentoring, and substance abuse and mental health treatment.

To learn more about the new legislation and to watch a video of the Second Chance Act Reauthorization event, visit the CSG Justice Center web site.

News You Can Use
Mark Your Calendar! CBOB Nomination Period Opens Soon
logo of Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of BraveryThe nomination period for the Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery will open December 13, 2013 and close on February 15, 2014. This award program is designed to recognize federal, state, local, or tribal officers for their acts of bravery. For further information, visit

Tribal Training and Technical Assistance
Tribal Civil & Criminal Legal Assistance  Training & Technical Assistance Project web pageAre you interested in training and technical assistance resources to implement enhanced sentencing authority provisions outlined in the Tribal Law and Order Act and strengthening indigent defense? Learn more about these resources on the Tribal Civil & Criminal Legal Assistance Training & Technical Assistance Project web page.

Walking on Common Ground
Walking on Common Ground websiteWalking on Common Ground serves as a comprehensive online resource highlighting promising practices in tribal-state court collaboration and providing resource toolkits for those wishing to replicate such practices.

NTTAC Offers Targeted TTA
BJA’s National Training and Technical Assistance Center (NTTAC) now has targeted training and technical assistance (TTA) available to address the critical needs of state, local, and tribal criminal justice agencies. BJA NTTAC has identified Crime Analysis on Demand as one area where additional resources have been made available. These resources will help law enforcement agencies better collect and use data to more effectively prevent and respond to crime. Crime Analysis on Demand is just one example of TTA assistance BJA NTTAC provides. If you know of an organization seeking TTA services, please encourage them to complete an online TTA request form available on the NTTAC web site.

Family Drug Abuse Prevention
Famliy Checkup - Positive Parenting Prevents Drug AbuseIn observance of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy’s (ONDCP) Drug Prevention Month, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and ONDCP are sponsoring a webinar on November 21 to demonstrate the Family Check-Up (FCU) online tool. Additional information can be found on the NIDA web site.

Register Now for These Upcoming Events

In-Person Training:

Online Training & Webinars:

logo of National Congress of American Indianslogo of National Criminal Justice Association
Tribal-State Intergovernmental Collaboration on Criminal Justice Issues Webinar Series, 2013
Sponsored by BJA in partnership with the National Criminal Justice Association and National Congress of American Indians, this series will present two webinars: Tribal-State-Federal Offender Reentry Collaboration (December 5, 2013) and Tribal-State Corrections Collaboration (January 28, 2014).

SMART Policing Initiative Webinar: Focused Deterrence and Offender Notification Meetings
This webinar, to be held December 4, 2013, will focus on how to plan and execute a successful offender notification meeting, from planning, to calling in, to scripting, to delivery, to follow up, and assessment. There will also be a discussion of the potential pitfalls, how to anticipate them, and how to respond if they arise. Visit the Smart Policing web site for more information and to register.

Leading by Legacy for Small Law Enforcement Agencies
The Leading by Legacy Program offers distance learning opportunities through online webinars which feature trainers from the Leading by Legacy Program and focus on topics related to developing an individual, organizational, and community legacy. Past webinars, covering a variety of topics have been archived and are available on IACP’s Leady by Legacy web page.

Grants and Funding
OJP Releases API of Grant Award Data
In keeping with President Obama’s Digital Government Strategy, the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) recently published an application programming interface (API) that provides access to 20 years of OJP Grant Awards Data (1993–2013) in open, machine-readable formats, including current-year grant awards data that is updated daily. The API can be accessed at logoIn FY 2014, BJA will continue to post competitive grant solicitations on You can subscribe to's free grant email alert service to receive notifications of new grant opportunity postings and updates; you do not need to be a registered user to sign up. If you plan to apply for competitive federal funding, be aware that the registration process can take between 3–5 business days or as long as 4 weeks if all steps are not completed in a timely manner. Please register early!

SAM Registration
To register in, organizations must obtain a DUNS number and register with the federal System for Award Management (SAM), the repository for standard information about federal financial assistance applicants, recipients, and subrecipients. OJP requires all applicants for federal financial assistance—other than individuals—to maintain current registrations in the SAM database.

In Focus This Month
LAW ENFORCEMENT: N-DEx for Tribal Law Enforcement: An Intertribal Pilot and Tribal-State Intergovernmental Pilot
BJA is working with multiple Indian tribes to improve information sharing. BJA, through SEARCH, supports two pilot projects that provide tribal law enforcement access to the National Data Exchange (N-DEx), allowing tribal officers access to arrest/incident data submitted by all participating agencies. The Tribal Law Enforcement Consortium of Arizona pilot is tailored for consortium-member information sharing among the Fort McDowell Yavapai-Apache Nation, Ak-Chin Indian Community, Tohono O'odham Nation, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, and Gila River Indian Community. The White Earth Nation's Police Department pilot includes law enforcement agencies of Becker, Mahnomen, and Clearwater counties in Minnesota. Law enforcement in these regions will have enhanced prevention and investigative capabilities through the improved situational awareness of offender activities and criminal events in region.
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. 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?

BJS Develops the National Survey of Tribal Court Systems
by Steven W. Perry, BJS Statistician

OJP’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) is developing the 2013 National Survey of Tribal Court Systems (NSTCS-13) to gather information to improve the nation’s understanding of the administrative and operational characteristics of tribal justice systems. BJS has conducted outreach to tribal and federal partners to design a survey instrument. The proposed survey instrument includes a core survey to be administered to all tribal courts in the lower 48 states and two modules (Alaska and Court of Federal Regulations). BJS will distribute the survey to more than 300 tribal justice systems with an anticipated response period of April-October 2014.

Featured Program

Gun Lake Tribe Tribal Court Program

“Our goal has always been to develop a sophisticated tribal government that is accountable to our citizens and those entities with which we conduct business. To that end, it was important for us to provide a forum to seek justice in our tribal community,” said Ed Pigeon, Vice Chairman of the Tribal Council of the Gun Lake Tribe of Michigan. The need for a court and law enforcement agency became apparent after the tribe commenced Class 3 gaming operations on its land.

The Gun Lake Tribe received a BJA Tribal Court Assistance Program grant for the development of its own tribal justice system. With the assistance of BJA and technical assistance providers, the tribe visited a Minnesota tribe, with comparable population and existing tribal court and law enforcement agency, to gather ideas for the development of its court system and law enforcement department. The tribe now has a fully functioning court system with Michael Petoskey serving as its first Chief Judge, and its police department provides protection and enforcement to the community. The tribe’s sensitivity to the additional stresses upon local law enforcement, created by its gaming operation, and its actions to provide its own police services to the community has resulted in a very successful local government-tribal relationship. A history of the tribe’s court development is available on the Gun Lake Tribe’s web site.

Michael Petoskey, Chief Judge, Gun Lake Tribe of MichiganMichael Petoskey, Chief Judge, Gun Lake Tribe of Michigan
Follow us on TWITTER
Like us on Facebook
Printer-Friendly Version
E-mail the current issue
Subscribe to Justice Today
Browse the archives
Send us your feedback

Bureau of Justice Assistance Office of Justice Programs Office of Justice Programs