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The National Community Courts Program: Training and Technical Assistance to Address Local Criminal Justice Challenges
By Julius Lang, Senior Advisor, and Emily Gold LaGratta, Director of Procedural Justice Initiatives and Deputy Director of Technical Assistance, Center for Court Innovation
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. They connect persons committing less serious crimes to judicially supervised drug treatment, alternative sanctions, and other community-based services.
The goal of the National Community Courts Program is to help judges and other innovators around the country reduce drug use, crime, and unnecessary incarceration through:
- Site-based training and technical assistance;
- Peer-to-peer site visits to model community courts for practitioners across the country;
- Network of Mentor Community Courts;
- The Community Court Grant Program;
- Community justice conferences;
- Articles, multimedia products, webinars, and other resources on related topics; and
- Responses to practitioner inquiries.
Under the National Community Courts Program, the Center for Court Innovation selected the following jurisdictions in a national, peer-reviewed competition to receive subawards of $200,000 each and technical assistance to launch a community court:
- State of Delaware Administrative Office of the Courts in Wilmington, Delaware;
- City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida;
- Reno, Nevada Municipal Court;
- City of Puyallup, Washington; and
- Metropolitan General Sessions Court of Nashville-Davidson County, Tennessee.
In addition, the Center for Court Innovation will offer hands-on planning and implementation support to the jurisdictions listed below:
- City of Albany, Georgia Municipal Court;
- City of Boulder, Colorado Municipal Court; and
- Snohomish County, Washington District Court.
BJA and the Center for Court Innovation plan to select up to five additional sites to receive no-cost planning and implementation support in 2019. State and local criminal justice agencies interested in launching a community court may submit a request via the online application.
Interested in learning more about the National Community Courts Program? Please contact the Center for Court Innovation’s technical assistance team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your jurisdiction is in need of training or technical assistance separate from establishing or enhancing a community court, please contact the BJA National Training and Technical Assistance Center (NTTAC) at BJANTTAC@ojp.usdoj.gov.
If you are interested in submitting the work of your organization or jurisdiction for consideration in a future TTA Today blog post or in obtaining information related to a particular topic area, please email us at BJANTTAC@ojp.usdoj.gov.
Points of view or opinions on BJA NTTAC’s TTA Today 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.