TTA Today Blog

Welcome to BJA NTTAC's TTA Today blog! TTA Today posts tell the story of training and technical assistance (TTA) engagements through individual perspectives, including those of DOJ and BJA leaders, staff, technical assistance providers, subject matter experts, community members, and other relevant stakeholders. These posts serve as an informal venue to share relevant updates or best practices from the criminal justice community, as well as to feature first-hand accounts of how TTA impacts state, local, and tribal communities across the nation.

Prosecutors play a critical role in the criminal justice process by serving as representatives of the federal, state, or local government in adjudicating criminal offenses. Like other components of the criminal justice system, prosecutors pursue justice with the best interests of public safety in mind. Discretion allows prosecutors to determine the appropriate legal response to each case brought before them, which involves reviewing the charges against an individual arrested by the police or deciding whether an individual should be charged with an offense.

Overview

The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), in collaboration with the Center for Court Innovation, administers the National Community Courts Program under BJA’s larger Problem-Solving Justice Initiative. Community courts are neighborhood-focused court programs that combine the power of the community and the justice system to address local problems. 

Puddles, Morse code, and milk. We celebrate them each year on January 11, yet while we are splashing our friends with puddles, learning to spell our names in Morse code, and commemorating the day when milk was first delivered in sterilized glass bottles, we are also called to acknowledge an important issue impacting thousands of people across every country: human trafficking. The U.S. Senate established the National Day of Human Trafficking Awareness by a Senate resolution in 2007 to raise awareness and opposition to human trafficking.

According to provisional counts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drug overdoses – including illicit drugs and prescription opioids – killed more than 72,000 Americans in 2017, a 2-fold increase in 10 years. The devastating impact of the opioid epidemic is felt not just in families, over the loss of lives, but in law enforcement, health care, schools, and virtually every other segment of society. Responding to this epidemic is one of the U.S. Department of Justice’s top priorities.

Criminal justice agencies use risk assessments to assist with the allocation of limited resources to manage and rehabilitate people at various stages of the criminal justice system: from judges using risk assessment to inform decisions about pretrial detention or release, to probation officers using it to calibrate the intensity of supervision and guide assignment to rehabilitative programming. The increasingly widespread and diverse use of risk assessment has given rise to a varied and dispersed body of commentary, research, and best practice guidance.