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.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Report, an estimated 11.3 million people were arrested in 2013. Between the time defendants are arrested and they make their initial appearance in court, what should happen to them? Pretrial services offered during this time have the potential to reduce crime while maximizing resources and public safety. That said, the pretrial services a jurisdiction offers, which might include initial screenings, risk assessments, release recommendations, and pretrial supervision, often vary significantly across agencies.

ByJim Parsons, Vice President and Director of Research, Vera Institute of Justice 

Incarcerated persons are three times more likely to experience chronic, acute, and behavioral health problems than the general population.1 These persons have limited access to health care both inside facilities and in the communities to which they are released. A historical lack of coordination between justice and health agencies exacerbates these issues even further. Consequently, people with such problems routinely fail to get the treatment they need. Research shows that incarcerated persons with substance use and mental health needs often find themselves caught in a revolving door of repeated arrest and incarceration, and effective and targeted treatment made possible by information-sharing can address health disparities, reduce costs, and lower recidivism rates. Astrology


According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, at the end of 2013 there were an estimated 4.75 million adults under community supervision. While this was down nearly 30,000 from 2012, it still means an average of one in 51 adults is in such a position. Those high numbers have strained the caseload of community corrections departments, many of which do not have a large number of probation or parole officers.

by Rebecca Rose and Lee Dail     

Below you will hear from BJA NTTAC Director Rebecca Rose and Lee Dail, Grants Administrator for National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), on their experiences with the new training and technical assistance (TTA) Reporting Portal.


The Portland, Oregon Police Bureau (Police Bureau) has 940 officers—a 1.6 officer per 1,000 resident ratio. While this may seem like sufficient resources, it is actually below the national average. With a low ratio of officers, it is paramount the Police Bureau use its resources as efficiently as possible.


Enforcing community supervision for released inmates is a persistent challenge for the criminal justice system. This challenge comes at a high cost as many probationers and parolees are revoked and returned to prison on technical violations, such as continued drug use and no-shows for appointments. In an attempt to reduce violation rates and the associated costs, many jurisdictions are testing a new approach. This new approach, referred to as the Swift and Certain (SAC) model, is modeled after a program that was originally tested on high-risk probationers in Hawaii.

by Dr. Laura Wyckoff, Bureau of Justice Assistance Fellow

Focusing resources on high-crime places, high-rate offenders, and repeat victims can help police effectively reduce crime in their communities. Doing so reinforces the notion that the application of data-driven strategies, such as hotspots policing, problem-oriented policing, and intelligence-led policing, work. Police must know when, where, and how to focus limited resources, as well as how to evaluate the effectiveness of their strategies. Sound crime analysis is paramount to this success.


Currently, many states are undertaking reentry initiatives to examine how improved information-sharing among key partners in the reentry process can ensure more successful outcomes. Corrections, law enforcement agencies, and service providers can all benefit from sharing information on justice-involved individuals as they enter and leave correctional supervision. However, historically, key reentry partners have been challenged with sharing this information in an accurate, timely, complete, and secure way.

by: Julia Ryan, Community Safety Initiatives Director, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)

“How about hostile vegetation?” It’s not a question you hear every day. But when asked by a police officer in a crime prevention training in Houston, TX, it launched an intense discussion about whether thorny rose bushes could deter burglars from entering ground floor windows in a new residential property. Not a typical police response to a crime problem, right?