BJA's Justice Today
December 2013   
In the Spotlight
Photo of Denise E. O’Donnell
Denise E. O'Donnell
BJA Director

This edition of Justice Today highlights great examples of BJA’s collaborations with the field to promote innovation. BJA’s priorities in our Strategic Plan include promoting the use of data, research, and information to increase the effectiveness of criminal justice. BJA supports innovation to address emerging criminal justice needs, build new evidence-based practices based on prior research, and create solutions where there are gaps in effective practice and research knowledge.  BJA serves as a facilitator for practitioners, policymakers, and academics to share knowledge and to promote innovation and peer-to-peer learning about promising data-driven evidence-based practices.
News You Can Use

Learn More About Field-Initiated Work
Through the Encouraging Innovation: Field-Initiated Programs solicitation, BJA funded a number of successful innovative projects, including the replication of a holistic public defender approach in the Bronx, which is now available nationwide and undergoing a National Institute of Justice evaluation, the creation of three tools to integrate risk and needs research in online applications for community corrections agencies, and a resource center for women involved in the criminal justice system. Learn more about BJA's Field-Initiated work and see the list of FY 2013 grantees.

It's Free! Evidence-Based Policing Training
The Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy and the Center for Justice Leadership and Management at George Mason University (GMU), with support from BJA and the Police Foundation, have brought together the top experts in the field of evidence-based policing for leadership training for first and second line law enforcement supervisors. The  training will be held January 24, 2014, from 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., at the GMU-Arlington Campus. For more information on the event and to register, visit: Space is limited to the first 125 registrants.

Congressional Badge of Bravery Nominations Now Being Accepted
logo of Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of BraveryThe nomination period for the Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery opened December 13, 2013 and closes 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

See How Wearing Body Armor Saves Lives
body armor logoIn a recently released video, learn the benefits of wearing body armor for law enforcement personnel as a fourth-generation police officer tells how BJA-funded body armor saved his life—and convinced his dad to wear it too.

Grants and Funding
Open Solicitations
FY 2014 Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS)
Closes March 24, 2014

Learn When Solicitations Are Released 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!

Don't Forget! Register in SAM
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 and BJA require all applicants for federal financial assistance—other than individuals—to maintain current registrations in the SAM database.

In Focus This Month
INNOVATION: Building Neighborhood Capacity
Building Neighborhood Capacity ProgramInnovation is happening among federal agencies through programs like the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative (NRI), a White House Initiative that includes BJA's Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation (BCJI) program and our Building Neighborhood Capacity Program (BNCP). NRI was recently honored as one of five finalists for this year's Harvard Innovation in Government awards for 2013. The Building Neighborhood Capacity Program is designed to help neighborhoods that have historically faced barriers to revitalization build capacity—the knowledge, skills, relationships, interactions, and organizational resources—that enables residents, civic leaders, the public and private sectors, and local organizations to catalyze community-driven change. With funding from the Departments of Justice, Housing and Urban Development, and Education, eight neighborhoods nationwide have received BNCP grants and, in addition to receiving technical assistance, are using the Building Neighborhood Capacity Program Resource Center as a tool in their work.
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?

BJA's initiative, Encouraging Innovation: Field-Initiated Programs, partners with the field to leverage existing ideas and expertise to address the critical gaps in BJA programs and strategies. BJA's partner, the Center for Court Innovation, recently published "A Spur to Innovation: An Examination of the Bureau of Justice Assistance's Encouraging Innovation: Field-Initiated Grant Program." This analysis found that overall, BJA achieved its goal of generating new ideas and programs. To read more, click here.

An Examination of the Bureau of Justice Assistance's Encouraging Innovation: Field-Initiated Grant Program cover page.

Featured Program

The Innovations in Criminal Justice Summit was developed as part of an effort to support practitioners in tackling a range of challenges—from limited attention to support program development and replication to a lack of resources to ensure successful program implementation. Often, the innovative practices that pave the way for more widespread and systemic reform are locally grown and lack both the attention and concrete evaluation data to demonstrate the positive outcomes achieved. To learn about the innovative practices highlighted at the most recent summit in 2013, click here.

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