Adjudication/Courts

This month, the National Institute of Justice published a report based on a review and rating by CrimeSolutions of multiple meta-analyses. Substance use disorders, which include substance dependence and abuse, have a tremendous impact on individuals, families, and communities. For patients, trauma-informed care offers the opportunity to engage more fully in their health care, develop a trusting relationship with their provider, and improve long-term health outcomes.

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.

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.

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.

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.

This year, AEquitas released a guide for preventing and responding to violent crime by enhancing prosecutors’ ability to build safer communities through increased collaboration with community leaders. As key members of the criminal justice system, prosecutors can play an important role in uniting community leaders to create and implement policies, practices, and initiatives for sustainability and the reduction of violence.

The U.S Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs (OJP) has developed a two-page flyer that provides an overview of drug court and other problem solving court program models. Drug courts are specialized court-docket programs that target defendants and offenders (adults and juveniles), as well as parents with pending child welfare cases who have alcohol and other drug dependency problems.

Prosecutors play an integral role to regularly collaborate with community organizations and members to protect the community and develop best practices to reduce victimization. To further support prosecutors in the pivotal role they play within communities across the nation, the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) offers various grant funding, training and technical assistance, and other resources to ensure that prosecutors are well equipped to serve their respective communities. These resources are outlined in BJA’s “Programs That Support Prosecutors” fact sheet.

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