TTA News & Information

Last month, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) released a 2020 yearend report detailing data findings from the BJS Annual Probation Survey, Annual Parole Survey, and Federal Justice Statistics Program. During 2020, the number of people on probation decreased from 3,330,200 to 3,053,700 (down 8.3%), the largest annual decline since the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) began the probation collection in 1980. Whereas the number of adults on parole increased 1.3% during 2020, from 851,000 on January 1, 2020 to 862,100 at yearend.

The National Institute of Justice recently released a research brief authored by Katherine Scafide, Ph.D. and other colleagues investigating alternate and more suitable light sources to traditional options for bruise detection in violent crime cases such as domestic violence and sexual assault. Inaccurate documentation of injuries can be detrimental to the victim’s legal case against their attacker as well as to the victim’s medical treatment.

Last month, the National Institute of Justice published a report of the First Step Act (FSA) of 2018 that mandates the development, implementation, and use of the Prisoner Assessment Tool Targeting Estimated Risk and Needs (PATTERN) of each person in the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. As a risk and needs assessment system, section 3634 in Title I of the FSA requires the U.S. Department of Justice to annually review, validate, and publicly release PATTERN.

This month, the Bureau of Justice Assistance released a brief on the Law Enforcement-Mental Health Learning Site program developed by the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center that offers national resources to law enforcement and behavioral health agencies seeking to tailor response models and implementation strategies to their individual community’s needs.

This month, the Vera Institute of Justice (Vera) released its annual report celebrating their 60-year anniversary and library of work to transform justice systems, end overcriminalization, and reduce mass incarceration of people of color, immigrants, and people experiencing poverty. Supported by the U.S.

To help law enforcement officers, criminal justice practitioners, and their families stay abreast of increasing cyber threats to national security, the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), with support from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, recently released two online modules on ransomware and deepfakes.

The Bureau of Justice Assistance released a "Prison Industry Enhancement Certification Program (PIECP) Compliance Guide" this month to offer support to PIECP certification holders. First instituted in 1979, the PIECP encourages state and local governments to create work opportunities in prisons that aim to place justice-involved individuals in real-world environments that encourage meaningful employment opportunities upon release.

In October, the Council of State Governments Justice Center released “Action Points: Four Steps to Expand Access to Housing for People in the Justice System with Behavioral Health Needs.” According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, affordable housing is scarce nationwide and especially among people who have been involved in the justice system or disproportionately face additional societal or systemic barriers including Black and Latinx communities.

Last month, the Bureau of Justice Assistance released the “Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) Auditors: Information and Resources” factsheet. The National Standards to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Prison Rape (Standards) established a PREA audit that is designed to assess compliance through written policies and procedures followed by institutionalization into day-to-day practices at all levels. PREA auditors are responsible for conducting high quality, reliable, objective, and comprehensive audits that hold agencies accountable.

This past November, the Council of State Governments Justice Center in collaboration with the National Police Foundation published “Creating Buy-In: Best Practices for Collaborating with Referral Sources for Crisis Stabilization Units.” Crisis stabilization units (CSU) provide law enforcement officers and mobile crisis teams a safe space to bring individuals during a behavioral health crisis. Buy-in from referral sources, particularly law enforcement agencies, is crucial to ensuring that people are suitably connected to the appropriate CSU.

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