The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) offers a wide array of violence reduction information and resources to criminal justice agencies, policymakers, and practitioners, yet many agencies in need of assistance may struggle with navigating available resources and determining the appropriate DOJ points of contact for specific topics. In June 2018, the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) launched the DOJ Violence Reduction Response Center (VRRC) to connect state, local, and tribal justice agencies, victims’ groups, and others with crime reduction training and technical assistance (TTA) resources offered by DOJ.
A disproportionate number of people who interact with the criminal justice system are persons with mental health disorders and intellectual and developmental disabilities, often prompting specialized responses from law enforcement and criminal justice agencies.
In 2016, the city of Chicago, Illinois experienced 768 homicides, representing a nearly 60 percent increase from the previous year. With the recent dramatic increase in violent crime – particularly homicides committed with firearms – Superintendent of Police Eddie Johnson and city leaders recognized the need to enhance their crimefighting strategy.
Since 2011, Erie County, New York has experienced a 15 percent decrease in total arrests, part of an overall reduction in violent crime arrest and sentencing rates. However, Erie County officials noticed that its reentry population – defined as adults returning from federal, state, and local correctional agencies – experienced a dramatic increase in parole revocations.
In 2008, the National Institute of Corrections launched the Evidence-Based Decision Making (EBDM) initiative, offering an innovative method for state and local justice policymakers to better use data and research findings to guide decisionmaking across the criminal justice system. The EBDM approach emphasizes interagency collaboration and the development of jurisdictional research-driven decisions and programming to increase efficiency and enhance public safety.