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.

By: Julie McGregor, BJA NTTAC Director of Communications In a time when many criminal justice agencies are asked to do more with shrinking budgets and limited resources, it’s important that they to know how to locate available resources to make smart, cost-effective decisions while promoting public safety. The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) National Training and Technical Assistance Center (NTTAC) is committed to being responsive to the emerging needs of the criminal justice field by bridging the gap between communities in need and available training and technical assistance (TTA) resources. To fulfill this goal, BJA NTTAC has identified four new TTA initiatives, including the Crime Analysis on Demand TTA program. Through crime analysis on demand, BJA NTTAC will offer law enforcement agencies TTA resources to enhance their capabilities to analyze and use data to make informed decisions to prevent and effectively respond to crime. This includes conducting needs assessments, providing recommendations to address analytical gaps, and offering comprehensive training for crime analysts.

Background

Currently, there are thousands of people in prisons and jails who suffer from chronic diseases, mental health issues, and substance use disorders. Generally, when these individuals reenter the community, they do not receive the necessary care for their health conditions because they lack health care coverage. In most states, they are not eligible for health care under current state health benefit polices. These individuals then turn to emergency services as their primary outlet to receive medical treatment.

Background

For more than three decades, the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), through the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), has worked to support state, local, and tribal (SLT) law enforcement’s efforts to prevent, investigate, and prosecute economic and high-tech crime. NW3C strengthens this mission by staying current with technological innovations and working to keep law enforcement up-to-date. NW3C is a nonprofit, membership-affiliated organization comprised of SLT law enforcement and prosecutorial and regulatory agencies. Its work is funded primarily by grants through congressional appropriations from BJA and other federal agencies. NW3C supports law enforcement through several avenues; training, research, investigative support, and the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3®).

By: Kim Ball, BJA Senior Policy Advisor “One of the coolest ideas I have seen in my eight years in the Bureau of Justice Assistance,” is the first response that comes to mind when asked about my involvement with the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (APA) Innovations in Criminal Justice Summit. I have seen a lot of great progress and great work over my time, but the unique thing about this event is that I have witnessed its evolution – from an idea that was tossed out during a discussion with colleagues to execution of the second Summit in 2013. When APA Vice-President Steven Jansen conceived the idea for this event, we all knew that it was exactly what we needed to do to encourage those innovative, cost-effective interventions that had demonstrated promise in improving public safety and providing alternatives to incarceration.

Background

Drakontas LLC was founded in 2004 by a group of entrepreneurs and Drexel University researchers in pursuit of the following goal: to build a company that could deliver collaborative software and communications solutions to the government customer. Drakontas brings together a multidisciplinary team of technologists, psychologists, software engineers, and public policy experts to ensure a comprehensive approach to the development and evaluation of its technology solutions

Background

In an effort to expand its information sharing capabilities, the Maine State Police (MSP) sought assistance in implementing an incident reporting process that all law enforcement agencies throughout the state could use. Concurrently, the Cumberland County (Portland) District Attorney and the Maine District Attorneys Technical Services (MEDATS) office sought a technical solution that would allow the county’s law enforcement agencies to electronically refer cases to the district attorney. Through the Maine Justice Information Sharing Architecture Steering Committee (MJISA), Maine justice agencies continually collaborate and coordinate information sharing efforts and technology projects.

By: Eva Bertone McGann, BJA NTTAC On March 18, 1963, the U.S. Supreme Court rendered a landmark decision that constituted a critical step forward in our nation’s relentless pursuit of equality and justice for all. The decision made in the case of Gideon v. Wainwright unanimously established the right to counsel for those who could not afford to hire an attorney. Fifty years later, professionals and leaders from across the criminal justice community honored this historical ruling by participating in events such as American University’s 50th Anniversary Symposium or the Department of Justice (DOJ) 50th Anniversary Celebration.

Background

South Dakota boasts 75 police departments and 65 county sheriffs to govern the population of over 824,000 citizens. Within large population jurisdictions in South Dakota, there were highly robust and highly-managed record management systems. However, there also existed very small departments with only one or two officers to cover the entire county. With such a broad population governed by numerous police departments and sheriffs, South Dakota suffered from a number of obstacles to information sharing.

By: Kelly Sullivan, BJA NTTAC Communications Specialist Often when we think of those who risk their lives and wellbeing to protect our safety, it is soldiers, police officers, or firefighters who jump readily to our minds. Albeit brave and deserving of our respect, these are not the only courageous souls who put themselves at risk to protect the public. Corrections officers are the “silent guardians” who have one of the most psychologically, emotionally, and physically taxing jobs out there, all the while receiving little appreciation for their dedication.

Background

The Vera Institute of Justice is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit center for justice policy and practice that conducts projects and reform initiatives, typically in partnership with local, state, or national officials, across the United States and around the world. The Vera Institute combines expertise in research, demonstration projects, and technical assistance to help leaders in government and civil society improve the systems people rely on for justice and safety.

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