NEW! On December 3, 2013, OJP, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Innocence Project announced the release of the National Summit on Wrongful Convictions: Building a Systemic Approach to Prevent Wrongful Convictions report. The National Policy Summit on Wrongful Convictions gathered 75 subject matter experts from all key disciplines to address and examine the causes of and solutions to wrongful convictions across the entire spectrum of the justice system. The summit report includes 30 recommendations for making rightful arrests, correcting wrongful arrests, leveraging technology and forensic science, and re-examining closed cases. This report lays a foundation for required changes in investigative protocols, policies, training, supervision, and assessment.
Prosecutors, judges, and court personnel are looking for new approaches to adjudicating offenders that will not only clear cases and decrease dockets, but also lower recidivism. Throughout the country, courts are recognizing that crimes involving violent and nonviolent offenders require a special effort to ensure that these offenders are held accountable, but returned to the community with the services and supervision they need to stop offending.
Additionally, state and local prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges face the challenge of meeting increasing needs with limited resources. While local court personnel will decide how to meet those needs, BJA is committed to providing resources, tools, and support to help them test their ideas.
Evaluation Information and Tools
BJA’s Center for Program Evaluation and Performance Management maintains a user-friendly online evaluation and performance measurement tool designed to assist state and local criminal justice planners, practitioners, State Administrati ve Agencies, researchers, and evaluators in: 1) conducting evaluations and performance measurement that will address the effectiveness and efficiency of their projects and 2) using evaluation information to improve program planning and implementation. Visit the Center for Program Evaluation and Performance Management site to learn more.
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) — the research, development and evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice — is dedicated to improving knowledge and understanding of crime and justice issues through science. NIJ provides objective and independent knowledge and tools to reduce crime and promote justice, particularly at the state and local levels. Access the NIJ site for further information and access to research materials.
OJP’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) collects, analyzes, publishes, and disseminates information on crime, criminal offenders, victims of crime, and the operation of justice systems at all levels of government. These data are critical to federal, state, and local policymakers in combating crime and ensuring that justice is both efficient and evenhanded. See the BJS site for access to data on a variety of topics.
The Events section of the BJA site contains information about upcoming and ongoing trainings and other events related to courts and other justice topics.
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) offers training on the Principles of Forensic DNA for Officers of the Court. This is an online interactive resource tool to educate and assist prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges in forensic DNA cases. The course consists of 15 modules and covers:
- The biology of DNA, including statistics and population genetics.
- DNA laboratories, quality assurance in testing, and understanding a laboratory report.
- Forensic databases.
- Victim issues.
- The presentation of DNA evidence at trial.
- Post-conviction DNA cases.
BJA provides training and technical assistance support to the Community Prosecution grantees through the National Center for Community Prosecution and the Center for Court Innovation.
The National Judicial College provides educational and professional development opportunities to more than 58,000 judges worldwide. BJA-sponsored courses include children as adults in court, bench skills for judges, health care and aging, disabilities and co-occurring disorders, and the role of families in the justice system.
For information on all BJA-sponsored training and technical assistance, visit to BJA's National Training and Technical Assistance Center (NTTAC).