In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many courts worked to switch to a virtual format, while criminal court cases became backlogged. This problem has continued throughout the pandemic to the point that some courts face such a large backlog that some cases may need to be dropped. To help address this challenge and others related to virtual courts and backlogged cases, the Prosecutors’ Center for Excellence published the report “Prosecutor Backlog Causes, Data and Solutions” in January 2021.
President Biden declared April as Second Chance Month in support of reentry services. Reentry Week will also take place April 26–30, 2021. The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and the National Reentry Resource Center (NRRC) will host virtual events and resources related to reentry during that week. Learn more.
As part of the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s e Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation Category 3: Responses to Alcohol and Substance Abuse and Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Training and Technical Assistance Program, the National Criminal Justice Training Center of Fox Valley Technical College produced the webinar “Building Stress-Resilient Tribal Communities.” This webinar discusses factors that lead to stress, the correlation between stress and alcohol and substance abuse, and ways to reduce stress and build resilience in tribal communities.
April is National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. The Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) is a Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) program that works to eliminate backlogs of untested rape kits. As part of these efforts, SAKI created the Core Standards for Sexual Assault Investigations Toolkit.
The American Institutes for Research (AIR), with support from the Bureau of Justice Assistance and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, operates the National Reentry Resource Center (NRRC), which was established by the Second Chance Act (SCA). SCA provides federal funding and support to jurisdictions and nonprofits that provide reentry services and those working to reduce recidivism.
The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation’s (NFFF) mission “is to honor and remember America’s fallen fire heroes, to provide resources to assist their families in rebuilding their lives, and work within the fire service community to reduce firefighter deaths and injuries.” NFFF’s website includes many of the available resources, including those directly available to families of fallen firefighters, online forms to request information and peer support, specialized grief materials, a calendar of events that includes support groups, and links to other
AEquitas is the lead training and technical assistance (TTA) provider for the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Innovative Prosecution Solutions (IPS) initiative. As part of the IPS initiative, AEquitas developed an IPS website that provides helpful information to prosecutors’ offices responding to their communities’ violent crime problems.
During COVID-19 it has been challenging to connect people with appropriate medical care, especially incarcerated and recently released individuals. The rise in telehealth services can help address this problem and can be a cost-efficient and effective way to provide care.
On March 18, 1963, the U.S. Supreme Court granted that criminal defendants have the right to a state-appointed attorney if they are unable to afford one themselves. This Sixth Amendment right was found to be constitutionally justified for criminal defendants through the Fourteenth Amendment. Because of this landmark decision, March 18 marks National Public Defender Day.