In FY 2012, 33 law enforcement and corrections officers survived deadly assaults. These incidents occurred in locations ranging from major metropolitan areas to rural small towns. The officers assaulted were equally diverse in age, gender, years of service, and assignment. What unites these incidents is that at least 33 officers are alive today because they were wearing a protective vest when the assault occurred.
For more information about Protective Vests Save Lives, see Chapter 1: Enhancing Law Enforcement Initiatives and Protecting and Supporting Victims of Crime
BJA assigned a senior State Policy Advisor to manage both grants for the 2012 National Conventions to ensure consistency with the grantees and provide daily liaison with staff from both cities. Monthly conference calls were held with representatives from both host cities starting in December 2011. Before the applications were accepted, extensive outreach was conducted regarding sole-source requests, vehicle waivers, lodging requests, and food and beverage approvals.
Grant management included a series of site visits to each city. The initial site visits were conducted with both cities before the convention awards were finalized. They were done to help agencies prepare for managing their grants and included a representative from the DOJ Office of the Inspector General, who provided an onsite fraud, waste, and abuse training to both cities. Second onsite monitoring visits were conducted just before the conventions, which involved reviewing all award files and observing the purchased equipment and technology upgrades. Final visits will be conducted in FY 2013 just before the awards' closing.
As a result of BJA’s guidance, oversight, and technical assistance to the two host cities of the conventions both cities were able to effectively plan, manage, and provide a high level of security for these national special security events. Both cities were able to efficiently purchase and procure all the necessary equipment, provide required overtime, and fund all the extraordinary law enforcement and related security costs, which allowed them to ensure top security and safety for all the officials and participants of the conventions.
For more information about Supporting the 2012 National Conventions, see Chapter 1: Enhancing Law Enforcement Initiatives and Protecting and Supporting Victims of Crime.
The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office has been able to successfully use BJA grant funding to expand its collaborative partnerships in investigating cases involving several federal, state, and local agencies to identify patterns and trends involving violations of IP and to share vital information that would lead to arrests and prosecutions.
During FY 2012, six defendants from Thousand Oak Barrels Company, Inc., located in Prince William County, Virginia, reached a plea agreement on 12 counts of trademark infringement. Special agents from Virginia’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation Fairfax Field Office specifically assigned to IP cases initiated the investigation. This was the first instance in Virginia that a company was successfully convicted of trademark Infringement.
For more information about Investigating Trademark Infringement, see Chapter 1: Enhancing Law Enforcement Initiatives and Protecting and Supporting Victims of Crime.
Below are some samples of testimony from Leading by Legacy course participants and local media:
Chief Arleigh R. Porter of the Sturgeon Bay (Wisconsin) Police Department attended training and said, “I wanted to express to you my appreciation for the extremely valuable program ‘Leading by Legacy’ that was provided to rural law enforcement leaders. Somehow, I have become one of the ‘Old Timers’ in this great profession and have had the fortune of having attended training from coast to coast across this great country of ours. The program that the IACP provided was some of the finest training that I have attended, especially in the short 2 ½ days that is allowed.”
Based on information presented during the Leading by Legacy training and assistance from IACP’s Leading by Legacy staff and instructors, Chief Jim Willis, Mount Desert (Maine) Police Department, used an online survey to ask his community to provide feedback on the services provided by his agency. The residents and business owners were pleased to be asked for their opinions, and the results indicated that the police department and its officers are doing an excellent job of serving their community. The local newspaper highlighted the results of the survey.
For more information about Leading by Legacy, see Chapter 1: Enhancing Law Enforcement Initiatives and Protecting and Supporting Victims of Crime.
For more information about Savin In Action, see Chapter 1: Enhancing Law Enforcement Initiatives and Protecting and Supporting Victims of Crime.
For more information about Anti-Animal Cruelty, see Chapter 1: Enhancing Law Enforcement Initiatives and Protecting and Supporting Victims of Crime.
“…we are very saddened by the loss of Jeff. I very much appreciate the information that you have provided and I will be in contact soon. It’s comforting to know that your program is there to support Jeff’s family and to release part of the hardship that will follow this tragedy. “
“I wish to thank you and your staff….and the effort you put into the assistance with my award package. Both my wife and three children express their gratitude as well.”
“David and I wanted to express how much we appreciated the assistance you gave with the processing of David’s application for assistance through DOJ. It is very rare to find someone who showed the care, concern, and professionalism that you give. Never have I experienced the quality of assistance that you… gave. It was truly a pleasure to know there are still people servicing the public who care and show it. Please accept this small token of our appreciation for all the patience, care, and concern you gave every time we called. You will never know what a blessing we received.”
For more information about Selected Comments Received by the PSOB Office from Survivors and Claimants, see Chapter 2: Honoring America's Public Safety Officers.
Judge Margie Enquist, District Court, 1st Judicial District of Colorado
For years, representatives from all of the major stakeholders in Colorado’s 1st Judicial District have been working to reexamine and improve how bail is administered. The district made some improvements; however, it did not have an adequate tool to determine pretrial risk. A BJA grant facilitated the gathering and analysis of information from 10 counties in Colorado and the conversion of that information into an effective risk assessment instrument. With this grant assistance, Colorado decisionmakers now have the Colorado Pretrial Assessment Tool (CPAT), an empirically validated multijurisdictional pretrial risk assessment instrument that is being implemented in several counties. Recently, Judge Enquist acted as cochair of the Colorado Commission on Criminal & Juvenile Justice’s bail subcommittee, which examined bail administration and pretrial practices across Colorado. The availability of CPAT allowed the subcommittee to recommend changes in the bail statute, so that bail decisions focus on risk (of re- offense and failure to appear) and not on a monetary bond schedule. Legislation is anticipated to be introduced in 2013.
Walt Smith, Court Administrator, 12th Judicial District of Florida
In 2011, Manatee County, Florida participated in a multijurisdictional study, funded by BJA, to develop an evidence- based risk assessment tool to assist judges in determining the risk that arrestees might fail to appear for court or be rearrested if they are released awaiting trial. Data were collected from Manatee County and five other Florida counties, and a risk assessment tool was developed. The Manatee County judges began using this tool in April 2012 and have indicated their satisfaction with it. Without the support of BJA and the expertise provided by PJI, evidence-based decisionmaking for pretrial release in Manatee County would not have been implemented.
For more information about TTA to Enhance Pretrial Justice, see Chapter 3: Supporting Innovation in Adjudication.
Brian Banks: Wrongfully Accused
In 2002, 17-year-old Brian Banks was wrongfully convicted of rape. At the time of his conviction, Banks was, by all accounts, a rising football star with dreams of playing in the National Football League.
A high-school acquaintance almost shattered that dream after she accused Banks of rape and kidnapping following a consensual sexual encounter on the school campus. Banks was faced with an impossible decision at the time: either fight the charges and risk spending 41 years to life in prison, or take a plea deal and serve a little more than 5 years of actual prison confinement. Banks chose to plead no contest to the charges.
Nearly a decade after his conviction, Banks’ accuser recanted her statements and acknowledged she fabricated the whole story. The California Innocence Project presented this evidence of Banks’ innocence to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, who launched an investigation into the case. After a thorough review of the evidence, the District Attorney’s Office conceded that Banks was wrongfully convicted.
On May 24, 2012, Judge Mark C. Kim of the Los Angeles Superior Court reversed Banks’ conviction, ending his wrongful conviction.
Andre Davis: Nearly 32 Years Behind Bars—and Innocent
Andre Davis was exonerated based on a DNA test after nearly 32 years behind bars for the kidnapping, rape, and murder of a 3-year-old girl in Champaign County, Illinois. The DNA test also identified the apparent actual perpetrator of the crime, an individual who had testified against Davis at two trials in the early 1980s.
The crime for which he was wrongfully convicted occurred on August 8, 1980. Shortly after 6:30 p.m., the 3-year-old victim disappeared from the front yard of her home where she lived with her mother and stepfather. She was found dead in a utility room of a neighborhood house, and Davis was arrested the same day for the crime.
At Davis’ first trial in 1981, the prosecution sought the death penalty, but jurors did not unanimously agree. Instead, he was sentenced to natural life in prison. That conviction was later reversed because of a procedural technicality. At Davis’ 1983 retrial, he again was convicted of all charges but sentenced to 80 years in prison rather than natural life. The conviction was affirmed by the Appellate Court in April 1984.
On February 17, 2004, Davis, represented by Jane Raley of the Center on Wrongful Convictions, filed a motion for DNA testing of the biological evidence in the case. The test identified two male profiles, neither of which was Davis’. Raley filed a petition in the Champaign County Circuit Court to vacate Davis’ conviction based on, among other new evidence, the DNA test results. Nonetheless, Champaign County Circuit Court Judge Charles M. Leonhard denied the petition in February 2011, ruling that the new evidence “did not undermine confidence in the outcome” of the trial.
Raley appealed, and on March 5, 2012, the Illinois Appeals Court overturned the denial of the petition and ordered a new trial based on the DNA test results. On July 6, the prosecution dismissed the charges and Davis was released from Tamms Correctional Center, the state’s most secure prison.
Davis was the 42nd Illinois defendant exonerated by DNA since the advent of the DNA forensic testing in 1989. There were 64 Illinois exonerations based on evidence other than DNA in that period, bringing the total number to 106. Of those, Davis served the longest—31 years, 10 months, and 29 days. He was 19 when arrested and 50 when released.
Juan Rivera: 19 Years Behind Bars for a Crime He Didn’t Commit
Juan Rivera walked out of Stateville Correctional Center in Illinois on January 6, 2012, after Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Waller announced that the state would not appeal a unanimous Illinois Appellate Court decision throwing out Rivera’s conviction for the 1992 rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl who had been babysitting for two neighborhood children in Waukegan.
Rivera had been convicted of the crime three times, by three juries, even though no physical evidence from the scene—including fingerprints, skin fragments, blood, and hair—linked him to the crime, and even though law enforcement records indicated that he was on electronic monitoring at his home more than 2 miles from the scene when the crime occurred. Before his third trial, in 2009, DNA testing positively eliminated him as the source of semen recovered from the victim.
All three convictions rested primarily on two uncorroborated confessions that Rivera made following hours of grueling interrogation by members of the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force. Rivera, a 19-year-old former special education student, became the subject of interrogation as a result of a tip from an informant. During four days of questioning, Rivera denied knowledge of the crime. But the interrogation became accusatory, and he was eventually coerced into signing a confession typed by the investigators.
This document—a narrative account of what the investigators claimed Rivera told them—was so riddled with incorrect and implausible information that Lake County State’s Attorney instructed investigators to resume the interrogation in an effort to clear up the “inconsistencies.” The interrogation resumed, and about 90 minutes later, Rivera signed the second confession, which contained a plausible account of the crime.
Neither interrogation session was recorded, although recording equipment was available.
Based primarily on the second confession, a jury found Rivera guilty at his first trial in 1993. Prosecutors asked for a death sentence, but the jury rejected it. Judge Christopher C. Starck sentenced Rivera to life in prison without parole. In 1996, the Illinois Appellate Court reversed that conviction.
Two years later, Rivera again was tried, convicted, and sentenced to life in prison by Judge Starck, who later vacated the conviction after the Center on Wrongful Convictions (CWC) obtained DNA testing evidence that eliminated Rivera as the source of seminal evidence. Despite the DNA exclusion, the State’s Attorney chose to retry the case. On May 8, 2009, a third jury found Rivera guilty, and he was sentenced to life in prison for the third time.
A key aspect of Rivera’s third conviction was the testimony of one of Rivera’s principal interrogators, who testified that some facts in the confession were not known to him until Rivera revealed them. The defense had evidence proving that every accurate fact in the confession was known to the police—most of the information in fact had been reported by the news media—but Judge Starck refused to let the jury hear that evidence.
Judge Starck also refused to allow the defense to call expert witnesses to explain how interrogation techniques used in the Rivera case have led scores of suspects in other cases to confess to crimes they didn’t commit. The thrust of the expert testimony would have been that suspects of below-normal intelligence tend to be susceptible to suggestion and manipulation, deferential to authority, and prone to confabulation—a combination that renders statements they make under stress unreliable.
Stanford University Law Professor Lawrence C. Marshall, who co-founded CWC in 1999, was the lead lawyer for the appeal of Rivera’s third conviction. Marshall was joined by co-counsel from the Jenner & Block LLP and CWC.
Among the issues raised on appeal were whether the evidence had been sufficient to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, whether Rivera had been denied his right to present a defense when Judge Starck refused to allow the defense to present evidence rebutting the false claim of the police that Rivera knew facts only the perpetrator would have known, and whether Rivera’s confessions should have been suppressed on the ground that they were involuntary.
According to the Appellate Court opinion, Rivera had “suffered the nightmare of wrongful incarceration.” Finding the evidence insufficient as a matter of law, the Appellate Court did not reach other issues raised in the appeal.
The decision barred trying Rivera again. The state could have appealed—the deadline for filing an appeal was 35 days after the Appellate Court decision—but 11days short of the deadline, the State’s Attorney announced that he was abandoning the case. Within hours, Rivera was released from prison.
Kristine Bunch: Convicted of Murder by Arson—But the Fire Was Accidental
Kristine Bunch languished behind bars for more than 17 years after she was arrested and charged with setting a fire that claimed the life of her 3-year-old son, Anthony, on June 30, 1995, in a trailer home they shared in Decatur County, Indiana.
Shortly after the fire, a state arson investigator concluded that it had started in two places—the first in the living room and the second in the bedroom in which Anthony died—and that a liquid accelerant had been used at both locations. Six days later, based largely on the investigator’s findings, Kristine was charged with arson and felony murder. At her trial, the investigator’s testimony regarding the accelerant was corroborated by a forensic analyst with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF), who testified that he had identified “a heavy petroleum distillate” in flooring samples taken from both fires. An independent arson investigator, however, testified for the defense that the cause of the fire should have been “classified as undetermined” because there was “a probability” that it had been accidental.
On March 4, 1996, jurors found Kristine, then 22 and pregnant, guilty of murder and arson. The following April 1, Decatur County Circuit Court Judge John A. Westhafer sentenced her to concurrent prison terms of 60 years for murder and 50 years for arson.
Kristine’s family retained an Indianapolis attorney, who filed a petition for post-conviction relief with Judge Westhafer in 2006. A few months later, a supporter of Kristine’s wrote the Center on Wrongful Convictions (CWC) requesting assistance. A CWC volunteer read the letter, saw that Kristine’s innocence claim might have merit, and referred the request to a CWC staff attorney.
After discussing the case with the family’s and reading the trial transcript, the CWC attorney approached three fire forensic experts, who questioned the arson testimony presented by the prosecution at Kristine’s trial. CWC agreed to assist in representing Kristine.
The legal team started with a subpoena of ATF’s original investigation files, which included previously undisclosed documents showing that—contrary to the ATF analyst’s testimony—no heavy petroleum distillate (HPD) had been found in the bedroom. In fact, no HPD was found anywhere in the trailer. Kerosene had been found only in the living room, where the family used a kerosene heater in the living room during winter months. The critical sample in the child’s bedroom was completely negative.
Because ATF’s trial testimony that a liquid accelerant had been found in both the bedroom and living room left an inescapable impression that the fire had been set, the ATF documents were highly exculpatory. Yet they had been withheld from Kristine’s trial counsel in violation of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1963 decision in Brady v. Maryland requiring prosecutors to turn over exculpatory materials to defense lawyers prior to trial.
In 2008, an amended petition for post-conviction relief was filed, appending affidavits from the fire forensic experts, in support of Kristine’s claim of innocence. The petition argued that she was entitled to a new trial based on two factors: developments in fire science constituted new evidence of her innocence, and her rights had been violated by the withholding of the ATF documents. Judge Westhafer agreed to hold an evidentiary hearing in October 2009 but took the case under advisement for 8 months before denying relief on June 8, 2010.
The defense appealed, eventually arguing the case before a three-member panel of the Court of Appeals of Indiana on July 13, 2011. Eight months later, the court reversed the conviction, holding two-to-one that Kristine was entitled to a new trial.
On August 8, 2012, the Indiana Supreme Court unanimously declined to disturb the Court of Appeals decision. Kristine was released on her own recognizance 24 days later—17 years, 1 month, and 16 days after her wrongful arrest. She walked out of the Decatur County Jail, where she had been sent to await retrial. Eight days before Christmas 2012, the prosecution dropped the charges.
For more information about Selected 90-Day Followup Comments from SLATT Workshop Participants, see Chapter 4: Countering Terrorism and Advancing Information Sharing and Technology To Fight Crime and Protect the Homeland.
The Indiana Data Exchange (IDEx) is a 21-agency effort under the leadership of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security that includes local, state, and federal agency participation. By using a range of Global-supported solutions, including GRA, GFIPM framework, and NIEM, the initiative connects disparate justice and public safety systems’ data, leveraging existing investments for enhanced decisionmaking and increased public safety. Because the planning, design, and initial capital investment were grant funded, IDEx exemplifies how a state can use federal support to initiate a project resulting in immediate and long-term cost savings and efficiencies.
The IDEx Project webinar can be viewed at www.ncja.org/webinars-events/jisp-webinars##idexproject.
For more information about The Indiana Data Exchange Project, see Chapter 4: Countering Terrorism and Advancing Information Sharing and Technology To Fight Crime and Protect the Homeland.
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.
VITA, working on behalf of Virginia’s Secretary and the Chief Information Officer, has centered its compliance strategy on migrating commonwealth agencies toward conformance with NIEM. By integrating NIEM into Virginia’s enterprise information architecture program, VITA will be able to enforce a common discipline, an established and stable set of standards, and a shared vocabulary to support semantic interoperability for person-related data across state government.
VITA’s NIEM integration strategy will also give agencies the ability to map data elements in legacy systems and commercial-off-the-shelf solutions toward a NIEM-conformant IEP. For new systems, VITA will support agencies in their implementation of NIEM standards throughout the system lifecycle. Compliance with adopted standards also will be a required element in VITA’s review and approval process for new projects.
This adoption of NIEM represents Virginia’s latest step toward enterprise data governance and standardization. The state has already made significant progress on interoperability in the health information technology domain. Based on guidance from its Health IT Standards Advisory Committee, more than 125 health IT standards have been adopted during the past year, including implementation guides, data exchange, vocabulary, messaging, and technology standards. VITA maintains the inventory of adopted standards in its searchable, web-based Enterprise Standards Repository.
VITA views its NIEM integration strategy as an opportunity to bring the other domains of state government up to the level of interoperability achieved in the health domain, as well as to establish a framework for building information exchanges across domains and levels of government. The agency has started implementing its NIEM strategy by mapping adopted standards for personal data to a NIEM-conformant IEP. Also, in November 2012, VITA hosted an onsite NIEM technical training by the IJIS Institute for data stewards across Virginia.
VITA recognizes that achieving interoperability through a NIEM- conformant strategy will be an incremental process, and the state has been working from an interim plan for meeting the new statutory requirements. The final plan, which will include a cost estimate, scope, and schedule for NIEM conformance, will be ready in July 2013.
For more information, visit the VITA Technology Oversight web site (www.vita.virginia.gov).
For more information about Achieving Interoperability Across Virginia Through NIEM, see Chapter 4: Countering Terrorism and Advancing Information Sharing and Technology To Fight Crime and Protect the Homeland.
Second Chance Act (SCA) grantees are using principles of effective practice, honed by research over recent decades, to develop collaborative reentry projects that target recidivism. Two examples are the Virginia Department of Corrections (DOC) and Kennebec County, Maine. These grantees are using validated risk and need assessment instruments to develop treatment and reentry plans that address their most pressing criminogenic needs.
The Virginia DOC received an FY 2010 SCA Family-Based Substance Abuse Treatment grant that focused on mothers with minor children who were returning from state prison to three rural counties in southwest Virginia. Participants completed a parenting program in their institution that focused on enhancing and practicing parenting skills and participated in video visitation when their children and family members were unable to travel to the facility in person. Client advocates, who are also certified addiction counselors, supported women and their families as they prepared for reentry and for at least 6 months following release. The Virginia DOC also held community forums in the three targeted counties to gather feedback directly from community and family members about improving the reentry process.
Kennebec County, Maine received an FY 2010 SCA Adult Demonstration grant to launch the Kennebec Regional Reentry Project (KeRRP) to provide transition planning involving an integrated system of risk assessment, health care, case management, medication assistance, and comprehensive community-based wraparound services to men and women returning from local jails. Participants were assigned to reentry specialists who were responsible for working with a community mental health care provider to develop individualized transition plans. Individuals identified as being at a higher risk of recidivism were enrolled into a 5-week intensive institution-based treatment and skill-building program that enhances co-occurring substance abuse/mental health treatment by integrating trauma-informed and risk-reduction interventions. Participants also received case management and transition support for up to 6 months following release. Based on the success of this project, Kennebec County received a FY 2012 SCA grant to expand KeRRP to provide integrated treatment services to a larger population of higher-risk individuals with co-occurring mental health and substance abuse treatment needs.
For more information about Pennsylvania Enacts JRI Legislation, see Chapter 5: Managing Offenders
On October 25, 2012, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett, joined by state leaders from across the political spectrum, signed and enacted comprehensive legislation designed to increase public safety, redirect funds from corrections to communities, and save Pennsylvania taxpayers millions of dollars. The resulting legislation (Senate Bill 100 and House Bill 135) contains a justice reinvestment framework that reinvests a portion of savings to be generated as a result of more effective corrections and parole policies. Once implemented, funds generated from these savings in the state prison system will be redirected back to local communities to be used for law enforcement, probation, parole, crime victim services, expanding the use of risk assessment, and other activities. It is estimated that Pennsylvania’s taxpayers will see cumulative savings of up to $253 million over the next 5 years due to key system enhancements.
For more information about Pennsylvania Enacts JRI Legislation, see Chapter 5: Managing Offenders
The San Francisco Sheriff’s Department received a FY 2010 Second Chance Act Family-Based Prisoner Substance Abuse Treatment award to serve 145 sentenced probationers incarcerated in the county jail who had a history of substance abuse and are parents to minor children. Under this project, the No Violence AllianceOne Family Reentry Initiative uses a family-based treatment model that provides a coordinated, comprehensive response to address the needs of offenders, their children, and other family members and caregivers. The Sheriff’s Department provided assessments, treatment services, and reentry case planning to participants while they were incarcerated, followed by 6 months of community-based case management and supportive services. As a result of the grant, the Sheriff’s Department strengthened the services they provided to the parent and family as a wholeincluding through the use of the “Parenting Inside Out” programand created child-friendly visitation space for contact visits with parents.
For more information about San Francisco Sheriff’s Department (California), see Chapter 6: Breaking the Cycles of Mental Illness, Substance Abuse, and Crime.
Gaston County, North Carolina received a FY 2010 Second Chance Act grant to provide co-occurring disorder treatment and reentry services to 100 indigent men from the West Gastonia area incarcerated in the Gaston County Jail. The Gaston County Sheriff’s Department partnered with Alternative Community Penalties Program, Inc., to bring integrated substance abuse and mental disorder treatment services to Gaston County Jail inmates. This project’s comprehensive services focused on individually tailored programming facilitated by a multidisciplinary team, including post-release planning (which focused on housing, employment, and treatment) and case management that coordinated care for each participant for 18 months. As a result of the grant, Gaston County now screens for criminogenic risks and needs, and incorporates the results into programming decisions. It has also strengthened its reentry approach through the use of several key evidence-based practices, including a standardized curriculum for the treatment of co-occurring disorders, cognitive- behavioral interventions, and motivational interviewing. Overall, this Second Chance Act award provided an important boost to the county’s first program to provide jail-based reentry services, which did not exist prior to 2006.
For more information about Gaston County, North Carolina, see Chapter 6: Breaking the Cycles of Mental Illness, Substance Abuse, and Crime.
Recently our drug court was selected as a host site for the All Rise America National Motorcycle Relay for Recovery. Given the national attention the relay was garnering and the historical nature of such an event, the team decided this would be a great time to reach out to the community to solicit support for our drug court program. Numerous civic organizations and community leaders were contacted and invited to attend a local motorcycle rally as well as a drug court session followed by a graduation ceremony. A number of local business and civic organizations agreed to provide a location for the rally, as well as food and beverages for those in attendance. In discussing motives for the rally with different agencies, we were able to obtain sponsorship for the event as well as educate those we spoke to about the benefits of drug court. Each agency was informed as to the importance of its future support and how it will facilitate the ongoing success of drug courts within the community. Those who attended the motorcycle rally got to see firsthand the benefits of drug court, when past graduates told their stories as to how drug court made a difference in their lives. Past graduates were also made available to answer individual questions from all who attended. Given the positive response to the rally, it appears the team’s goals of building community partnerships and raising awareness about the benefits of drug court were met. The following day, an open drug court session was held with local media covering the event. Again, numerous civic organizations and community leaders were in attendance and able to experience drug court proceedings. They were able to see how each individual participant was held accountable for negative behavior as well as rewarded for positive efforts. Given the attendance and media coverage at each event, it would appear the court was successful in educating the community and gathering support for the drug court.
For more information Case Study 1: Adult Drug Court, see Chapter 9: Performance Measurement.
Our local experience suggests that reentry programs funded by the Second Chance Act are well placed to initiate and guide justice system reform efforts, similar to those underway throughout the country. Effective reentry strategies achieve better public safety outcomes, address victim concerns, and better manage limited resources, making reentry an ideal starting point for systemic reform. Staff and partners have taken the lead in distributing research summaries, articulated service delivery models, trained stakeholders to implement and interpret risk and needs assessment, evaluated and prioritized services linked to common criminogenic need, identified policies and practices that support successful reentry, and promoted community awareness and support for evidence- based corrections practice. Although the BJA funding ends this fiscal year, the project has served as an invaluable pilot. The project has given us a considerable lead compared with other counties in California in being prepared to implement effective, evidence-based practices to manage offender reentry. Our services, partnerships, practices, and staffing will be sustained within the new framework, focused on a broader target population.
For more information Case Study 2: Second Chance Act Reentry, see Chapter 9: Performance Measurement.
During the reporting period, the police department hired a court operations specialist. The specialist provides ongoing staff support for the city’s Early Resolution Court and performs other court-related duties, such as working with GunStat and the Criminal Citation Programs. The specialist also assists the police with warrant projects, tracks individuals who fail to appear at their court cases, and conducts case disposition research as needed.
For more information Case Study 3: Justice Assistance Grant Program, see Chapter 9: Performance Measurement.