TTA News & Information

In October 2020, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, together with their partners Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, National Center for State Courts, and RTI International, launched the Strengthening the Sixth website (https://strengthenthesixth.org/). The website offers helpful information about the application of the Sixth Amendment along with various carefully curated resources.

As an alternative to interrogation and standard interviewing techniques, Steve Kleinman, a career military intelligence officer, makes a case for cognitive interviewing in the webinar “BJA Upholding the Rule of Law Webinar: Cognitive Interviewing.” According to Kleinman, cognitive interviewing avoids leading questions, enhances recollection, and helps interviewees to provide more detail, which improves interview integrity. Kleinman outlines the steps for conducting a cognitive interview.

In their efforts to support police-mental health collaboration (PMHC) and to encourage high-quality partnership-based interventions, The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center developed a PMHC self-assessment tool. This tool helps law enforcement agencies and their behavioral health partners assess their efforts in responding to people with mental illnesses and/or co-occurring substance use conditions.

The Virginia Center for Policing Innovation, in collaboration with the Bureau of Justice Assistance, developed the Measuring What Matters Resource Center (MWM). MWM is designed to help law enforcement agencies learn from subject matter experts on best practices in the following areas: officer safety and wellness, organizational culture, violent crime reduction, and measuring and sustaining success.

Join the International Association of Chiefs of Police for their free, five-part “Enhancing the Law Enforcement Response to Violence Against Women” training series. These interactive trainings are “designed to enhance the capacity of law enforcement when responding to and investigating crimes of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and strangulation.” Participants will be expected to actively participate in group discussion via webcam.

In anticipation of upcoming Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) solicitations, BJA is hosting two trainings to help prospective applicants find funding opportunities. The first session, titled “Funding Opportunities for Your Community in 2021: An Overview of What’s Ahead,” will be held on January 14, 2021, 1:00 p.m.–2:30 p.m. ET. It will focus on BJA’s 2021 funding plans, eligibility requirements, and estimated funding amounts.

The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center, with support from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, is offering free virtual training and support to three local jurisdictions (e.g., county, city) during the winter/spring of 2021.

Tailored to your agency, the training will focus on several topics related to the intersection of people with mental illness and the criminal justice system, including the following:

Treatment courts implement community-based treatment and rigorous monitoring to help individuals and to reduce recidivism and incarceration. To help establish treatment courts, the Center for Court Innovation, which developed New York City’s first drug court and New York’s first mental health court, manage the program Treatment Courts Online, The National Training System for Treatment Court Practitioners (treatmentcourts.org).

The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) is now accepting nominations for the Congressional Badge of Bravery, which honors federal, state, and local law enforcement officers who have shown exceptional bravery in the line of duty. Annually, the U.S. Attorney General awards the medals, and the recipients’ Congressional representatives present the awards.

“To meet the definition of an act of bravery, nominees for the Congressional Badge of Bravery must have either:

Criminal justice professionals engaged in today’s national debate about criminal justice reform can learn from past efforts at collaboration. In 2019, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. and New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neill saw a need for prosecutors and police chiefs to have candid conversations and really listen to each other when making policy decisions.

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