Welcome to NTTAC’s TTA Spotlight! Through these TTA Spotlights, NTTAC will highlight those TTA engagements that have demonstrated success in achieving meaningful impact in the criminal justice system. It is our hope that these TTA Spotlights will enhance awareness and understanding of best practices to be replicated by criminal justice professionals. By highlighting these model engagements, NTTAC hopes to facilitate the sharing of information on provider capabilities, critical success factors, and achieved impact in order to strengthen the level of collaboration across the criminal justice community.

In the National Gang Intelligence Center’s 2015 survey of federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement, more than half of respondents reported that street gang membership and gang-related crime had increased in their jurisdictions over the past two years. Faced with increases in gang-related incidents, many law enforcement agencies are seeking advanced, robust methods for identifying, investigating, and addressing the prevalence of gangs operating within certain geographic areas. 

Background

The United States incarcerates more individuals per capita than any other country in the world. With an expansive justice system consisting of federal, state, and local bodies collecting different metrics and using different performance measurements, it is difficult to imagine a standardized process for collection and assessment of data, even though it would allow for improved identification of systemic justice issues and sentencing disparities. Without the ability to compare performance and identify trends at all levels of the system, injustices may become more prevalent and become accepted as the status quo.

Background

Across the United States, criminal justice practitioners, policymakers, and researchers have recognized a growing need to improve statewide corrections systems and implement more judicious parole policies. The national trend in corrections and parole systems signals that different parole populations can experience varying rates of recidivism, affecting how risk information and guidelines are used to predict recidivism and inform parole release decisionmaking in violent and non-violent crime cases and in high, moderate, and low risk recidivism cases.

In 2014, Detroit, Michigan, joined a consortium of cities in the Violence Reduction Network (VRN), a nationwide, locally focused Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) training and technical assistance (TTA) initiative to reduce high rates of violent crime in communities through strategic and innovative measures. Similar to other communities in the VRN program, Detroit has one of the highest violent crime rates in the United States and has endured deep public sector resource constraints and challenges with police-community relations.

In September 2016, the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) convened the BJA Smart Suite Summit: Transforming Criminal Justice through Research and Innovation, gathering BJA Smart Suite grantees, researchers, national experts, federal representatives, and thought leaders from the justice community to discuss and promote data-informed criminal justice projects and programs.

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