Accessing Information

As part of their mandates to assist state and local criminal justice agencies and to disseminate timely information on criminal justice issues, the OJP agencies have established various means for the public to access the valuable resources they offer. The following describes the primary means of accessing OJP information.

Department of Justice Response Center. (Telephone numbers: 800-421-6770; 202-307-1480) The Response Center was established in 1993 as an outreach service to encourage as many jurisdictions as possible to apply for grants. It continues to offer assistance to grant applicants as well as to those seeking information related to OJP programs and activities, including legislative, programmatic, and funding-related issues concerning the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. Jurisdictions that are new to the process of completing grant applications can obtain help in filling out the forms and in finding answers to technical questions by calling the toll-free telephone number listed above. Information specialists in the Response Center receive training on the technical elements of grant applications and have direct access to program managers.

The Office of Congressional and Public Affairs (OCPA). (Telephone number: 202-307-0703) OCPA is a key point of contact for OJP. Primary responsibilities of this Office include working with the news media and the public to keep them informed about OJP programs and activities; and working with Congressional members, committees, and staff on legislation, policies and issues affecting OJP, its Bureaus and Program Offices, as well as the criminal justice community.

Clearinghouses. (Telephone numbers: 800-851-3420; 301-519-5500) All five OJP Bureaus operate clearinghouses through which they distribute agency publications, prepare responses to specific information requests, offer database searches, and provide information about federal funding. Users can obtain reliable, comprehensive, and current information about the latest criminal and juvenile justice studies and projects from around the world. The clearinghouses are administered by the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS), which serves more than 100,000 criminal and juvenile justice researchers and professionals, making it the world's largest criminal justice information network.

NCJRS receives and fills requests for information through the mail, by telephone, by fax, and on the Internet. Through its World Wide Web site, NCJRS users have access to fully-searchable, full-text documents from OJP and other criminal justice resources. The Web address is Trained information specialists respond to requests by providing statistics or referrals, conducting custom searches, supplying appropriate publications, and providing access to library resources. Staff members answer questions about agency-specific programs, publications, or special initiatives and upcoming funding opportunities. Their areas of expertise include community policing, crime prevention, domestic violence, and drug education and prevention; juvenile issues such as juvenile violence, delinquency prevention, school crime, and missing and exploited children; and victim issues such as victim rights, victim services, domestic violence, child or elder abuse, rape and sexual assault, and bias-related violence. NCJRS welcomes personal visits to its Research and Information Center, which contains more than 130,000criminal justice publications and reports for user reference needs. In addition, the Center has access to databases and publication holdings from other agencies and organizations.

The Drugs and Crime Clearinghouse, funded by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and administered by BJS, responds to policymakers' urgent needs for current data about illegal drugs, drug law violations, drug-related crime, and the impact of drugs, and drug-using offenders on the criminal justice system. The Clearinghouse disseminates BJS and other drug-related crime documents published by the U.S. Department of Justice, maintains a library and database, produces topical fact sheets and selected bibliographies, and responds to telephone and mail requests for information.

Partnerships Against Violence Network (PAVNET). PAVNET, an initiative launched by an unprecedented coalition of federal agencies, is an automated resource designed to facilitate the development of comprehensive approaches to reducing violence. The goal of PAVNET is to integrate information on the wide range of strategies and resources currently available and to remove the barriers that communities face in sharing information about proven and promising programs that combat violence and empower communities to protect families and children. A central repository for information on programs, sources of funding, and technical assistance providers, PAVNET can be accessed via the Web at Information also is available in the form of printed resource guides. PAVNET is a joint effort of the Departments of Agriculture, Education, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Justice, and Labor. For further information, contact the National Criminal Justice Reference Service at 800-851-3420 or 301-519-5500.

Weed and Seed In-Sites Newsletter. With a readership of 2,500 nationally, the Weed and Seed In-Sites newsletter is published and distributed monthly by EOWS. The newsletter plays a critical role in informing readers of what is working to improve public safety and the quality of life in Weed and Seed sites around the nation. The newsletter also provides information on current policy and program changes, thus improving communication between the Department of Justice and field contacts and service providers. By gathering and disseminating information which is useful to the sites - such as the "Weed and Seed Resource Library," "What's Working," and a "Calendar of Events" of conferences and meetings relevant to program development - overall strategy and program implementation is strengthened.

Statistical Data. Data from BJS and OJJDP also are available from the National Archive of Criminal Data at the University of Michigan and from the Computerized Index to Data Sources, a database of the activities of state criminal justice agencies operated by the Justice Research and Statistics Association.

These access points for information on OJP activities can be reached by the following means:

DOJ Response Center

Office of Congressional and Public Affairs

NIJ/National Criminal Justice Reference Service
P.O. Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20850
Justice Information Center

Juvenile Justice Clearinghouse

Office for Victims of Crime Resource Center

BJS Clearinghouse

BJA Clearinghouse

World Wide Web

Weed and Seed In-Sites Newsletter

Drugs & Crime Clearinghouse

National Archive of Criminal Justice Data

Computerized Index of State Projects and Reports

Criminal Justice Information Systems Clearinghouse

The information in this Resource Guide highlights only some of the activities of the OJP agencies. Other information sources include the agenciesí annual reports, program plans, and grant application kits. Interested parties can obtain more information about how OJP and state and local entities and Indian tribal governments can work together by directly contacting the following offices:

Office of Justice Programs
Laurie Robinson
Assistant Attorney General
810 Seventh St, NW
Washington, DC 20531

Bureau of Justice Assistance
Nancy Gist

Bureau of Justice Statistics
Jan M. Chaiken, Ph.D.
National Institute of Justice
Jeremy Travis

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Shay Bilchik

Office for Victims of Crime
Reginald L. Robinson
Acting Director

Executive Office for Weed and Seed
Steve Rickman

Violence Against Women Office
Bonnie Campbell

Violence Against Women Grants Office
Kathy Schwartz

Corrections Program Office
Larry Meachum

Drug Courts Program Office
Marilyn Roberts
American Indian and Alaskan Native Affairs Desk
Norena Henry

Office of Congressional and Public Affairs
Harri Kramer

U.S. Department of Justice Response Center: 800-421-6770 or 202-307-1480.

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