TTA Today Blog Archive

Welcome to BJA NTTAC's TTA Today blog! TTA Today posts tell the story of training and technical assistance (TTA) engagements through individual perspectives, including those of DOJ and BJA leaders, staff, technical assistance providers, subject matter experts, community members, and other relevant stakeholders. These posts serve as an informal venue to share relevant updates or best practices from the criminal justice community, as well as to feature first-hand accounts of how TTA impacts state, local, and tribal communities across the nation.

By Kristie Brackens, Senior Policy Advisor, Bureau of Justice Assistance 

In almost every community if you tune into your local news, visit your favorite online news web site, or pick up the paper, you will find a story about violent crime. Violent crime is not a new topic. What is new is the approach the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has taken in working with cities to reduce violent crime and increase public safety. The Violence Reduction Network (VRN), an initiative started in 2014 by DOJ through the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), is confronting this problem and its root causes with a holistic approach.

By C. Edward Banks, Ph.D., Senior Policy Advisor, Bureau of Justice Assistance

The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) is a national leader in the development and implementation of criminal justice policy and sound grant management. BJA has developed many promising and evidence-based programs to address numerous criminal justice topics in order to achieve safer communities. The agency supports key areas of criminal justice, including adjudication, corrections, counter-terrorism, law enforcement, crime prevention, justice information sharing, justice and mental health, substance abuse, and tribal justice. The Bulletproof Vest Partnership, the Smart Policing Initiative, the Wrongful Conviction Review Program, and Project Safe Neighborhoods are a few examples of the more than 32 policies and programs implemented by BJA in support of local, state, and tribal justice strategies nationwide.

By Tara Kunkel, BJA Visiting Fellow and Principal Court Management Consultant, National Center for State Courts

When Joseph Coronato became Ocean County’s (NJ) prosecutor in March 2013, he saw eight opioid overdose fatalities in just seven days. All the victims were 28 years old or younger. Coronato began researching ways to abate the problem and found law enforcement agencies in Massachusetts that had implemented naloxone programs. Naloxone, also known as Narcan, is a potentially lifesaving drug that can effectively restore breathing to a victim in the midst of a heroin or other opioid overdose. Because local police officers are often the first to arrive on the scene of these overdoses, they play a critical role in preventing overdose incidents from becoming fatalities by administering naloxone. Coronato resolved to equip Ocean County patrol officers with naloxone, using a policy modeled off those in Massachusetts.

By Sabrina Rhodes, Project Specialist, International Association of Chiefs of Police

Arresting parents of children is common in the day-to-day duties of police officers. These arrests can, and often do, have significant and lasting negative effects on children, whether they witness the arrest or not. When a parent is arrested, children often experience stress, which may develop into psychological trauma. A growing body of research links parental arrest to worse life outcomes for children, including higher risks for alcoholism and drug use; depression and suicide; domestic violence; health-related problems; and criminal behavior. The good news is that by implementing the right strategies, the devastating effects of parental arrests can be minimized.

ByJim Parsons, Vice President and Director of Research, Vera Institute of Justice 

Incarcerated persons are three times more likely to experience chronic, acute, and behavioral health problems than the general population.1 These persons have limited access to health care both inside facilities and in the communities to which they are released. A historical lack of coordination between justice and health agencies exacerbates these issues even further. Consequently, people with such problems routinely fail to get the treatment they need. Research shows that incarcerated persons with substance use and mental health needs often find themselves caught in a revolving door of repeated arrest and incarceration, and effective and targeted treatment made possible by information-sharing can address health disparities, reduce costs, and lower recidivism rates. Astrology

by Rebecca Rose and Lee Dail     

Below you will hear from BJA NTTAC Director Rebecca Rose and Lee Dail, Grants Administrator for National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), on their experiences with the new training and technical assistance (TTA) Reporting Portal.

by Dr. Laura Wyckoff, Bureau of Justice Assistance Fellow

Focusing resources on high-crime places, high-rate offenders, and repeat victims can help police effectively reduce crime in their communities. Doing so reinforces the notion that the application of data-driven strategies, such as hotspots policing, problem-oriented policing, and intelligence-led policing, work. Police must know when, where, and how to focus limited resources, as well as how to evaluate the effectiveness of their strategies. Sound crime analysis is paramount to this success.

by: Julia Ryan, Community Safety Initiatives Director, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)

“How about hostile vegetation?” It’s not a question you hear every day. But when asked by a police officer in a crime prevention training in Houston, TX, it launched an intense discussion about whether thorny rose bushes could deter burglars from entering ground floor windows in a new residential property. Not a typical police response to a crime problem, right?

by: David J. Roberts, Senior Program Manager, IACP Technology Center Modern technology has become a crucial element in the daily lives of people all around the world and, in many respects, it is improving our quality of life. In healthcare, technology is helping doctors diagnose diseases earlier in their patients. For law enforcement, technology is playing a critical role in the daily work of officers in the field, equipping them with enforcement and investigative tools that can make them safer, better informed, and more efficient and effective.
By: Suzette McLeod, BJA NTTAC Deputy Director The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) National Training and Technical Assistance Center (NTTAC) just launched a new online tool that helps BJA’s TTA partners further coordinate their efforts to serve the nation’s state, local, and tribal justice professionals. BJA’s TTA providers offer enhanced value to the field when their expertise is augmented by the awareness of other program and partner activities and resources. BJA is looking forward to leveraging the new TTA Collaboration Portal to enable and enhance collaboration across BJA’s diverse community of TTA providers.