TTA News & Information

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.

Last month, the National Institute of Justice released a knowledge-sharing brief by the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence on the use of rapid toxicology screening tools in lieu of comprehensive, confirmatory investigations. According to the U.S. Drug Administration, the average turnaround time for traditional toxicology testing can last up to 31 days. However, contingent on case complexities, systemic issues, rising caseloads, and other unforeseen circumstances, delays often occur.

In September, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention released an analysis conducted by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s (NCMEC) Infant Abductions Program. Often, the most challenging task at hand upon the receipt of a missing child report is identifying the key factors surrounding the case. This crucial assessment of the initial facts will determine what actions the responding law enforcement agency will perform.

This month, the National Institute of Justice released a study conducted by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) using the first-ever national sample of bias crime perpetrators collected from the Bias Incidents and Actors Study (BIAS) database.

In October, the Office for Victims of Crime and the Office on Violence Against Women hosted the webinar, “Understanding the Effects of the Pandemic for Domestic Violence Victims.” This webinar shares the investigations, data analysis, and accounts of researchers, victim-service professionals, and federal government representatives working with domestic violence survivors through the COVID-19 pandemic.

In accordance with the Crime Victims with Disabilities Awareness Act, the Bureau of Justice Statistics released this month a report on the violent victimization rates of persons with and without disabilities using 2008-2019 National Crime Victimization Survey data. In 2019, the rate of violent victimization to persons with disabilities was nearly four times the rate of persons without disabilities.

The Police Executive Research Forum, with support from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, has released a new report entitled Promising Strategies for Strengthening Police Department Wellness Programs: Findings and Recommendations from the Officer Safety and Wellness Technical Assistance Project. While research data continues to evidence the benefits of comprehensive officer safety and wellness initiatives, many police departments continue to remain unsure of where to begin to establish such a program.

This month, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) released a white paper that shares successful international interventions that have been initiated to foster desistance. Since the mid-1990s, there have been regularly sustained research efforts to expand global knowledge of why people stop offending, which have been instrumental for increased awareness of desistance causes. However, a critical gap remains of practical strategies for implementation in crime-prevention practices and sentencing procedures within the criminal justice system.

In August, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention conducted a literature review of national evidence-based research on restorative justice for juveniles. The framework has long been debated on its differences to more traditional interactions with justice-involved individuals. By uniting victims, justice-involved youths, community members, and other key stakeholders, restorative justice programs seek to help youths understand the implications of their actions and offer opportunities for community reconnection and harm reduction.

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