Justice Topics

Overview

BJA is committed to ensuring its resources and services are responsive to the evolving needs of the criminal justice field. To address these needs, BJA NTTAC provides tailored training and technical assistance (TTA) services across a broad set of justice topics to address the most critical issues faced by state, local, and tribal criminal justice agencies. To learn more about each justice topic, click on the icons below.

Adjudication / Courts

BJA NTTAC provides resources, tools, and other support to help prosecutors, judges, and court personnel develop new approaches to adjudication in order to clear cases, decrease dockets, and lower recidivism.

Our Work

  • BJA NTTAC worked with the Crime and Justice Institute to assist the New York Association of Pretrial Service Agencies and the New York City Criminal Justice Agency by examining pretrial services utilization and practices in the state. The Crime and Justice Institute developed an action plan for improving practices statewide. Learn more about this adjudication work in New York.
  • Dane County (WI) Community Restorative Court reached to BJA NTTAC for peer support from one of BJA NTTAC’s providers to learn best practices for program implementation. To facilitate this peer-to-peer support, five members from the Dane County Community Restorative Courts, including a representative from the community, spent two days with our provider to discuss changes Dane County was interested in implementing. Following the site visit, the Community Restorative Court began implementing policies and practices learned from their peer relationship with the BJA NTTAC provider.

Capacity-building

BJA builds the capacity of criminal justice practitioners to effectively execute criminal justice initiatives. Capacity-building is an ongoing process through which organizations enhance their ability to identify and meet development challenges. BJA NTTAC’s role in this effort is to facilitate learning in regard to:

  • Organizational structure;
  • Data collection, analysis, and reporting;
  • Use of evaluation results;
  • Program design and planning;
  • Collaboration and partnership development; and
  • Organization leadership.

Through these efforts, BJA NTTAC helps criminal justice professionals to reduce crime and promote public safety by providing the tools, resources, and information necessary to promote professional development and evoke broader impact within the criminal justice community. In each BJA NTTAC TTA engagements, increasing an agency or community’s capacity is a priority.

Corrections

BJA NTTAC supports communities and corrections facilities with reentry programs, probation and supervision officer safety, and partnership building among corrections officials, law enforcement representatives, and community members.

Our Work

  • In Imperial County, a rural community in California, BJA NTTAC worked with the Community Corrections Institute (CCI) to help the Imperial County Probation Department minimize the injuries that probation officers often encounter in the field. CCI conducted a needs assessment and developed a tailored program with safety and tactical training sessions to meet those needs. Learn more about our corrections work in Imperial County.
  • The Osborne Association reached to BJA NTTAC for assistance as they began planning to transform the former Fulton Street Correctional Facility (NY) into a comprehensive reentry center for people returning to the community following incarceration. Through BJA NTTAC, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) worked with the Osborne Association to facilitate strategic planning discussions with community members. LISC also produced an asset map and developed the What’s Next: Community Conversation Toolkit, which will help the Osborne Association select appropriate service providers for the reentry center. Read more about our work with LISC and the Osborne Association.

Crime Prevention

BJA NTTAC works with law enforcement and other justice agencies in their efforts to incorporate programs for reducing or removing opportunities to commit crime through:

  • Data collection and analysis,
  • Accurate identification of problems,
  • Development of crime control objectives and strategies, and
  • Implementation of strategies developed.

BJA NTTAC supports law enforcement executives and communities in the search for the information, tools, and resources needed to collaborate in their crime prevention efforts. These crime prevention activities may be general in nature or may focus on community-specific issues or needs.

Our Work

  • To illustrate the reach and work of BJA NTTAC, TTA providers undertook a collaborative, multidisciplinary effort to address crime in Gary, Indiana, by adopting strategies including Crime Analysis on Demand to improve law enforcement data analysis of high-crime neighborhoods, the implementation of CPTED strategies, and the adoption of a community revitalization plan where community leaders and citizens work alongside one another to improve blighted areas of the city on a regular basis. Learn more about our crime prevention work in Gary.

Justice Information Sharing

DOJ’s Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative (Global) supports national policy, practices, and technology solutions to improve information-sharing capacity within the criminal justice community, while also emphasizing the importance of privacy and civil liberty protections.

BJA NTTAC provides TTA resources to help agencies overcome obstacles to sharing information. Improving the information-sharing processes strengthens decisionmaking and enables research and evaluation to identify promising practices with a strong return on investment.

Our Work

  • A BJA NTTAC consultant from Washington College in Maryland helped law enforcement in Camden County, NJ, and the State of New Jersey by providing guidance and solutions for how police and probation can adopt platforms to better facilitate information-sharing between police and probation. Read more about the guidance provided.

Law Enforcement

BJA NTTAC provides law enforcement agencies with an array of tools, resources, training, and support that allow them to meet the needs of their communities. Due to the emergence of new and unique challenges that must be met with limited resources, BJA NTTAC is a resource for law enforcement efforts to prevent crime and build support for enforcement activities in their communities.

Furthermore, BJA NTTAC supports training on collaborative problem-solving and facilitating community engagement. BJA NTTAC provides technical assistance to help prevent violence against law enforcement officers and promote officer resilience and safety.

Our Work

  • As part of BJA NTTAC’s Crime Analysis on Demand program, a BJA NTTAC consultant worked with the Corpus Christi (TX) Police Department crime analysts on preventing and reducing crime through a combination of crime analysis, improved information-sharing, and community involvement. Learn more about BJA NTTAC’s Crime Analysis on Demand TTA resources.

  • Through BJA NTTAC, hundreds of law enforcement officers have received Blue Courage training, a holistic approach to police wellness and performance. Blue Courage, Inc. conducts a classroom training program to educate officers on principles and practices of human effectiveness, purpose-driven work, resilience, positive attitude, and sound judgment. Read more about BJA NTTAC’s work in the field with Blue Courage, Inc.

Mental Health

The relationship between mental illness and crime is complex – mediated by substance abuse and its psychoactive effects, as well as personality factors, situational factors, and socio-cultural factors. BJA NTTAC supports efforts to reduce criminal behavior and to address the health care needs of individuals with mental illnesses through interventions.

BJA NTTAC provides assistance to foster cross-system collaboration for individuals with mental illness, or concurrent mental health and substance abuse disorders, who come into contact with the criminal justice system.

Our Work

  • Working with a BJA NTTAC consultant, we provided the Peer Support for Public Safety training program for the Montgomery County (MD) Department of Police. The program gave peer support team members an initial exposure to crisis and suicide intervention, one-on-one intervention skills, working with small group skills, crisis communication skills, bereavement counseling skills, an understanding of the entire peer support process, and exposure to proven post incident debriefing skills.

  • Working with one of our provider organizations, BJA NTTAC is developing a national curriculum for Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training to assist law enforcement, who as first responders, commonly engage with individuals with mental illness. The curriculum will include student, instructor, and course evaluation materials. Additionally, the training curriculum will be piloted in partnership with the National Alliance on Mental Illness and the subsequent course evaluation materials will be used during the pilot training delivery.

Substance Abuse

BJA NTTAC supports efforts to plan, implement, and enhance cost-efficient strategies to address crime related to alcohol and substance abuse, including identifying, apprehending, and prosecuting individuals who illegally transport, distribute, and use alcohol or controlled substances. Strategies for preventing and reducing alcohol and substance abuse-related crime focus on prevention and treatment services. In addition, BJA NTTAC supports efforts to investigate and deter drug production, trafficking, and drug-related violence. Research shows that there are higher rates of substance abuse and mental illness among inmates and offenders than among the general population. BJA NTTAC supports program activities that assist target population identification, and support relapse and recidivism prevention.

Our Work

  • Naloxone, also known as Narcan, is a fast-acting prescription medicine that works to reverse overdoses caused by opioids. Since law enforcement officers are often the first to arrive at an overdose scene, their actions can mean the difference between life and death. Developed by BJA NTTAC, the Law Enforcement Naloxone Toolkit is a one-stop clearinghouse designed to answer frequently asked questions about naloxone and provide resources, including standard operating procedures, training guides, community strategic plans, outreach materials, and memoranda of agreement, to support law enforcement. All of the resources can be easily downloaded by law enforcement agencies and customized for their use. Browse the Law Enforcement Naloxone Toolkit and search our clearinghouse of resources.

  • After seeing over 150 heroin-related deaths in a two-year period, which resulted in a public health crisis in its county, the Jefferson County (AL) District Attorney’s Office reached to BJA NTTAC for help with its community consortium concerned with heroin abuse and addiction. Through BJA NTTAC, one of our providers worked with Jefferson County to create working groups to develop a strategic community action plan and a community engagement strategy to attack the prescription drug abuse and heroin epidemic.

  • To address overt drug trafficking in Anniston (AL) and surrounding communities, the District Attorney for Cleburne and Calhoun Counties (AL) received training in Drug Market Intervention (DMI), an evidence-based program, by the National Network for Safe Communities at John Jay College. Led by David Kennedy, who first developed and implemented DMI in High Point, NC, to eliminate local overt drug markets, the two-day workshop provided representatives from the Alabama counties with a complete overview of DMI. Read more about BJA NTTAC’s assistance implementing this evidence-based program in Alabama.

Tribal Justice

BJA NTTAC supports programs that assist tribal governments in the effort to plan, implement, and enhance their justice systems by increasing their capacity to prevent, control, and investigate crime; effectively administer justice; and meet the needs of the community. Training and technical assistance efforts are focused on enhancing tribal and state collaborations, strategic planning, and improving tribal justice system capacity-building efforts.

Learn more about how BJA supports tribal governments to enhance their tribal justice systems.