By NTTAC Communications
Law enforcement, criminal justice, and other justice system jurisdictions have access to free training and technical assistance through the Bureau of Justice Assistance.
What is BJA?
The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) is a subdivision of the Office of Justice Programs in the Department of Justice. BJA was created in 1984 to reduce violent crime, create safer communities, and reform our Nation’s criminal justice system. BJA strengthens the Nation’s criminal justice system and helps America’s state, local, and tribal jurisdictions reduce and prevent crime, reduce recidivism, and promote a fair and safe criminal justice system.
What is BJA NTTAC?
The Bureau of Justice Assistance National Training and Technical Assistance Center (BJA NTTAC) is a free training and technical assistance (TTA) resource available to criminal justice agencies to achieve safer communities nationwide. Established in 2008, BJA NTTAC connects state, local, and tribal justice agencies in need of assistance with specialized national experts to help address those needs. Our goal is to provide these agencies the resources needed to reduce violent and drug-related crime, support law enforcement, manage offenders, and combat victimization.
Who does NTTAC serve?
BJA NTTAC provides assistance to state, local, and tribal criminal justice agencies. This includes prosecutors’ offices, police departments, city and county commissioners, corrections departments, and other similar organizations.
How NTTAC can help your jurisdiction
BJA NTTAC provides no-cost training and specialized guidance, also known as technical assistance, both in-person and virtually on a wide variety of criminal justice topics. NTTAC staff seek to understand the specific justice-related need of the requesting agency and match that need with the right expert to provide the appropriate training or specialized guidance.
|NTTAC's TTA services include:|
|Specialized TTA programs|
|Assistance implementing evidence-based programs|
|Classroom and virtual training|
|Research and information requests|
|Strategic planning assistance|
|NTTAC's TTA Topic Areas include:|
|Justice Information Sharing|
How organizations can work with NTTAC
Agencies seeking training or technical assistance should complete an application online. Organizations and individuals who are interesting in joining the TTA Provider Directory to provide services to agencies requesting assistance should complete the online provider application.
Stay informed about NTTAC communications, events, and other opportunities
Sign up for the Justice Community Mailing List to receive NTTAC’s monthly newsletter, notices of upcoming events and webinars, and subscriber-only access to resources. Follow NTTAC on Twitter and LinkedIn to learn about the latest updates in the criminal justice field, funding opportunities, available resources, and Department of Justice program updates.
Meet the new BJA NTTAC team
Jessica Toliver, Senior Project Director
For the past 20 years, Ms. Toliver has helped local law enforcement agencies to enhance their community relationships and services, efficiently allocate department resources by identifying and implementing cost-saving strategies, and to improve systems and tools to foster internal and external legitimacy. Prior to joining ICF to serve as the Project Director for BJA NTTAC, Ms. Toliver served as Director of Technical Assistance at the Police Executive Research Forum. There, she oversaw a portfolio of TTA projects and provided national-level guidance to the field on emerging issues impacting public safety by publishing practitioner-oriented reports and training curricula identifying best practices and providing policy guidance to assist law enforcement agencies with implementing and/or expanding their own programming. Jessica holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a Master of Public Policy from the University of Michigan.
Sharon Ondeje, Training and Technical Assistance Delivery Lead
Sharon is a human services professional with over 10 years of direct client, program, and grants management experience. Ms. Ondeje currently serves as the Training and Technical Assistance Delivery Lead for BJA NTTAC. Before coming to ICF, Ms. Ondeje worked as a program manager on a criminal justice project at the National Association of Counties and as a technical assistance manager at JBS International where she worked with SAMHSA’s criminal justice grantees to support their problem-solving courts. Sharon has bachelor’s degrees in psychology and sociology and a master’s degree in psychology.
Irja Gardner, Senior Training Software Architect
As BJA NTTAC’s software architect, Irja ensures the BJA NTTAC website is kept up-to-date and is compliant with all federal and DOJ policies, directives, and guidelines such as Section 508 compliance. Irja has more than 15 years of experience in web development, database back-end programming and business analysis. Irja excels at providing understandable technical communications to non-technical personnel. Her experience includes working in varied team environments and collaborating with the client and business analysts. Irja has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration.
Alex Knabe, TTA Coordinator
Alex is a Senior Criminal Justice Training and Technical Assistance Specialist for BJA NTTAC, with 5 years of experience in the victim assistance and criminal justice fields. Prior to joining the BJA NTTAC team, Alex has previously served as a Project Operations Specialist with the Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Center (OVC TTAC) and as Logistics Coordinator for the U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking. Alex has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history.
Penelope Oseguera, TTA Coordinator
Penelope has experience working in various roles that have allowed her to serve her community, mostly related to case management and training. Penelope’s previous work experience helped her to develop a passion for working with justice-involved individuals and organizations. Serving as a TTA coordinator with BJA NTTAC is the perfect blend of her experience and educational background. Penelope has a bachelor’s degree in literatures in English and a master's degree in criminology and criminal justice.
Chelsey Turner, TTA Coordinator
Prior to joining the BJA NTTAC team as a TTA Coordinator, Chelsey worked as a project coordinator, filling a variety of roles and maintaining responsibility over several moving pieces of projects. Notably, Ms. Turner created animation videos to engage participants in virtual learning, provided support in leadership development training, provided on-site support during facility assessments, and assisted in curriculum development. Ms. Turner holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
Caterina Marzella, Research and Evaluation Coordinator
Caterina’s experience and knowledge are focused on the fields of criminal justice, victim services, and outcome measurement. She coordinates the data collection, analysis, and reporting efforts for all BJA NTTAC training and technical assistance delivery and BJA TTA grantee reporting. Prior to BJA NTTAC, Ms. Marzella served as the research and evaluation coordinator for the Office for Victim Services Training and Technical Assistance Center, where she evaluated training and technical assistance and supported several special projects including the creation of an outcome measurement tool and monitoring of the National Elder Fraud Hotline. Caterina has a bachelor’s degree in government and a master’s degree in social work.
Sigi Ironmonger, Graphic Designer
Sigi is a graphic designer on the BJA NTTAC team and uses his expertise to design document layouts, create report designs, supports BJA NTTAC’s visual identity, and assists with data visualization. Prior to joining BJA NTTAC, he worked as a professional comic-book colorist. Sigi’s interests include drawing, digital painting, and building his skills in After Effects. Sigi has a bachelor’s degree in art.
Shannon Freeman, Communications Specialist
Before joining the BJA NTTAC team, Shannon served in the office of Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring as Director of Programs and Outreach, where she managed the team responsible for the Office’s community engagement, training efforts, and implementation of statewide public safety initiatives and victim services programming. Shannon also spent over nine years as the Ombudsman for the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund (now the Virginia Victims Fund), assisting victims of violent crime as they navigated the victim compensation claims process. Shannon has a BS in psychology with minors in Spanish, sociology, and history and has taken coursework towards her master’s degree in public administration.
Kiana Kabanje, Communications Specialist
As a communications specialist, Kiana leads NTTAC’s digital events and communications technologies. Her experience includes disaster preparedness public education, emergency management, public safety, public health, and global community development. Prior to joining the BJA NTTAC team, Kiana served in the Washington state Military Department, Emergency Management Division as a public education program manager. Kiana has a bachelor’s degree in international rescue and relief and a master’s degree in public health.
We are looking forward to working with you!
If you are interested in submitting the work of your organization or jurisdiction for consideration in a future TTA blog post, please email us at BJANTTAC@ojp.usdoj.gov.
Points of view or opinions on BJA NTTAC’s TTA blog are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice, BJA, or BJA NTTAC.