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BJA's Justice Today
August 2015   
In the Spotlight

Revised JAG Accountability Measures

JAG Program Logo BJA launched revised accountability measures for its flagship Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program, which is the largest source of federal assistance for state, local, and tribal criminal justice programs. The revised JAG Accountability Measures encourage grantees to focus on evidence-based practices and to measure more closely their program´s effectiveness. The new measures are expected to lessen the reporting burden on smaller grantees and help agencies learn more about promising crime-reduction approaches.

Note that the revised JAG performance measures will be required for FY 2015 grantees and beyond. They will take effect during the October to December 2015 reporting period, with the first report due by January 30, 2016.

In preparation, BJA launched a series of online trainings for JAG grantees. The first webinar, titled “Overview Webinar for All Grantees,” was conducted on August 27 and September 1. This initial training will be followed with more specific trainings for states/SAAs, local grantees, law enforcement, prosecution, courts, indigent defense, corrections, and more. The training schedule is available on the JAG Training page of BJA´s web site.

News You Can Use

VALOR Training
VALOR Training On September 17–18, 2015, BJA´s VALOR initiative will host a no-cost VALOR Officer Safety Conference in Hurst, Texas. Topics will include identifying emerging threats and challenges, implementing casualty care and rescue tactics, recognizing pre-incident indicators of a potential assault, and enhancing officer resiliency. To learn more or to register visit VALOR´s website.

Second Chance Pell Grant Opportunity
To support reentry efforts, the U.S. Department of Education is inviting institutions of higher education to join a new pilot initiative to make Federal Pell Grant funding available for incarcerated individuals pursing postsecondary education and training. Selected educational institutions will partner with one or more federal or state correctional facilities to offer academic programs and provide academic and career guidance. To be considered for participation in the initiative, an institution must submit a letter of interest to the U.S. Department of Education no later than Friday, Oct. 2, 2015 in order to receive priority consideration. For more information, read the pilot program fact sheet.

Second Chance Act – Visiting Fellow
BJA recently announced Mr. Daryl Atkinson as its first Second Chance Fellow. Chosen through an FY 2015 competitive solicitation, the Second Chance Fellow brings to the job both professional expertise and personal experience as a formerly incarcerated person. Mr. Atkinson will advise the Second Chance Programs and The Federal Interagency Reentry Council. Learn more about DOJ´s first Second Chance Fellow in Attorney General Loretta Lynch´s blog in the Huffington Post.

Smart Policing Initiative Webinar
Smart Policing Initiative The Smart Policing Initiative (SPI), a BJA collaborative consortium with CNA and 31 local law enforcement agencies, is presenting a webinar titled “Collaboration with Communities of Color” on September 16, 2015, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. eastern time. Hosted by Scott Decker, the webinar will discuss commonly held myths about crime and criminal behavior, and explore the issues these myths create through the presentation of empirical research evidence and data.

University of Kentucky Study Shows Impact of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs
In July 2015, the University of Kentucky´s Institute for Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy released a BJA-funded study that examined the impact of Kentucky´s House Bill 1 (HB1) legislation, which was enacted during a special session in 2012. HB1 included multiple strategies to prevent the abuse and diversion of prescription drugs, including mandatory registration with the Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting (KASPER). To read more about the study findings, see the full evaluation here.

A New Approach to Curb Violent Crime
SCF Hope Violent crime is not a new topic. According to the FBI´’s Uniform Crime Report, there were more than 1.1 million violent crimes committed in 2013 nationwide. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is taking a new approach to working with cities to reduce violent crime and increase public safety through the Violence Reduction Network (VRN). VRN is an initiative started in 2014 by DOJ through BJA, and it works to confront violent crime and its root causes with a holistic approach. Learn more about the VRN in BJA´s National Training and Technical Assistance Center´s TTA Today Blog. Read the post here.

SCF/HOPE Workshop
SCF Hope BJA Director Denise E. O´Donnell provided the opening remarks at the Swift, Certain, and Fair (SCF)/Hawaii Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (HOPE) training on August 5 in Washington, D.C. The training was led by Dr. Angela Hawken, Associate Professor of Public Policy at Pepperdine University; Judge Steven Alm, Oʻahu First Circuit Court Judge and originator of HOPE Probation; and Bernie Warner, Washington Secretary of Corrections. For more information, visit the SCF Center´s website.

Grants and Funding

No BJA FY 2015 competitive grant solicitations are currently open. Visit our Funding Page to stay up-to-date on upcoming BJA solicitations.

Don’t forget to visit OJP’s Funding Resource Center, where you’ll find OJP funding opportunities, an overview of OJP’s grant process, and more!

Funding Resource Center

In Focus This Month

National Criminal Justice Association Annual Conference Held in Atlanta
NCJA Conference Panel BJA Director Denise E. O’Donnell, BJA staff, and BJA NTTAC attended and moderated several panels at the National Forum on Criminal Justice, held August 2–4, 2015, in Atlanta, Georgia. Sponsored by the National Criminal Justice Association (NCJA), the Justice Research and Statistics Association (JRSA), and the IJIS Institute, the National Forum focused on integrating research, policy, and technology to improve public safety.

Director O’Donnell and BJA staff spoke at sessions on topics such as Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs, the Violence Reduction Network, the National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative, Grants Management, and Body-Worn Cameras. In addition, the NCJA 2015 President’s Award for Excellence in Justice Policy was awarded to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency and the Ohio Consortium of Crime Science, both projects that have received funding support from BJA.

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?

Launching Nationwide Officer Safety Event Deconfliction

To further expand officer safety event deconfliction coverage nationwide, BJA launched the National Criminal Intelligence Resource Center in collaboration with the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA), the Regional Information Sharing Systems (RISS) Program, and the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC). The center is the first nationwide officer safety event deconfliction solution, and it was developed by integrating HIDTA’s Case Explorer and SAFETNet systems and RISS’s RISSafe system. This is a significant milestone in enhancing officer safety throughout the country. For more information, visit the National Criminal Intelligence Resource Center.

Featured Program

National Body-Worn Camera Toolkit

BJA’s National Body-Worn Camera Toolkit continues to add comprehensive information on body-worn camera research, technology, policy, and training for criminal justice practitioners interested in planning and implementing a body-worn camera program. New content includes BWC policies and procedures from Denver, Atlanta, Charlotte, Orlando, Dallas, Cleveland, Charleston (SC), and Boston Police Departments. To view these and more new resources, please visit the resource page and enter the keyword of the document you are interested in reviewing.

Body-Worn Camera Toolkit
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