U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs. Innovation. Partnerships. Safer Neighborhoods.
Justice Resource Update. Advancing the Field of Criminal Justice. NOVEMBER 2010
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Evidence Integration Initiative: Research at Work
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AAG Laurie O. Robinson ...

At the Office of Justice Programs (OJP), we strive to make science an integral part of criminal justice. We realize that we can accomplish this goal only by partnering with — and listening to — state and local practitioners and policymakers. Ultimately, it is our responsibility to make sure the research we support and provide to the field is reliable, accessible, and applicable — that it can be used in the real world.

OJP launched the Evidence Integration Initiative (E2I) to support justice practitioners and policymakers by providing better tools and information to help them understand, access, and integrate evidence into the decisions that they make. Within OJP, E2I provides a mechanism for coordinating activities across OJP offices and bureaus that support research, evaluation, programs, and training, without sacrificing or neglecting ongoing innovation.

The recent confirmations of respected social scientists Dr. Jim Lynch and Dr. John Laub as Directors in the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) and the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) reflect the priority that the administration has placed on advancing science and integrating evidence into practice.

Some recent highlights of E2I efforts include the following:

  • To improve the quantity and quality of evidence that OJP generates, the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and NIJ coordinated to fund evaluations of Second Chance Act Demonstration grantees. NIJ will also launch and evaluate a Demonstration Field Experiment using an experimental research design.

  • Two Evidence Integration Teams are assembling and synthesizing a broad range of evidence relating to gangs and children exposed to violence to inform decision making at the federal, state, local, and tribal levels regarding strategies, programs, and practices. Participation in these teams also serves a valuable internal purpose for OJP personnel by expanding our own capacity to apply evaluation and research findings. The results of these efforts will be disseminated in various ways, including being posted on the Crime Solution Resource Center Web site.

  • The Crime Solutions Resource Center Web site will be a centerpiece of OJP’s efforts to improve the translation of evidence into practice. With its projected launch in summer 2011, practitioners and policymakers will have a single, credible source for evidence-based information on policies, programs, and practices across the fields of criminal justice, juvenile justice, and victim services.

As always, we welcome your questions, comments, and feedback.

Bullet Evidence Integration Initiative: Research at Work
Bullet OJP Annual Report Now Available
Bullet Enhancing Adult and Juvenile Drug Treatment Courts
Bullet Violent and Property Crime Rates Continue To Decline
Bullet Coordinating Council Addresses Juvenile Justice Priorities
Bullet Serving Victims of Identity Theft and Financial Fraud
Bullet Strategies for Offender Reentry in Indian Country
Bullet Nationwide Event Promotes Afterschool Programs
Bullet Mark Your Calendar
OJP Annual Report Now Available

OJP’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 Annual Report, Forward Momentum, is now available online. The report is presented in chapters that demonstrate OJP’s commitment to outreach, collaboration, innovative approaches, evidence-based programs and practices, and careful stewardship of the funds entrusted to OJP by Congress and the American people.

Each chapter includes highlights of accomplishments that were funded by (FY) 2009 appropriations and by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The report also features examples that demonstrate how OJP programs have made a positive difference in the lives of Americans.

Read the report online today.

Enhancing Adult and Juvenile Drug Treatment Courts

The Federal Government awarded nearly $76 million in (FY) 2010 to enhance the court services, coordination, and substance abuse treatment capacity of adult and juvenile drug treatment courts. Funds were provided by BJA, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Drug courts effectively integrate substance abuse treatment, mandatory drug testing, sanctions and incentives, and support services to help offenders recover and steer clear of further involvement with the juvenile and criminal justice systems. Preliminary findings from NIJ’s 5-year, multisite evaluation of adult drug courts shows that after 6 months and 18 months participants reported less drug-related and criminal activity and spent less time behind bars. This project is ongoing and final results are not yet available; however, these initial findings are promising.

Currently, more than 2,200 drug court programs provide services to adults and juveniles across the nation. BJA supports the National Drug Court Resource Center, which provides vital information for drug court practitioners, partners, and clients throughout the country in the form of research findings, funding opportunities, training information, and announcements.

Violent and Property Crime Rates Continue To Decline

Violent crime declined from 19.3 to 17.1 victimizations per 1,000 persons during 2009, BJS announced recently. This continued a longer period of decline from 51.2 victimizations per 1,000 persons in 1994 and brought violent crime rates to their lowest levels since 1973, the first year that BJS collected data from crime victims through its National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS).

The property crime rate also declined during 2009 from 134.7 to 127.4 crimes per 1,000 households, primarily from a decrease in theft. This reduction continued a longer term trend of declining rates from 553.6 crimes per 1,000 households in 1975.

In fact, the rate of every major violent and property crime measured by BJS fell between 2000 and 2009. During the past 10 years, the overall violent crime rate fell 39 percent and the property crime rate declined by 29 percent.

NCVS is the nation’s primary source for information on the frequency, characteristics, and consequences of criminal victimization. In 2009, 38,728 households and 68,665 individuals age 12 or older were interviewed twice during the year for NCVS.

The complete report, Criminal Victimization, 2009 (NCJ 231327), is available online.

Coordinating Council Addresses Juvenile Justice Priorities

The September meeting of the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, chaired by Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli, featured presentations on a broad range of topics, including updates from Coordinating Council teams that are examining federal practice in four priority areas: education and at-risk youth, tribal youth and juvenile justice, juvenile reentry and transition to adulthood, and racial and/or ethnic disparities in the juvenile justice system and related systems.

Presentations also covered Missouri’s award-winning program for rehabilitating juvenile offenders, current efforts to reform New Orleans’ criminal and juvenile justice systems, and OJJDP research.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Perrelli described the Defending Childhood initiative launched by Attorney General Eric Holder to prevent, address, reduce, and more fully understand children’s exposure to violence. The initiative includes demonstration projects, research, and evaluation activities that are designed to develop best practices for addressing this serious national problem. Mr. Perrelli noted that two of the eight recently funded demonstration program sites are in Indian Country.

Serving Victims of Identity Theft and Financial Fraud

OVC recently released an e-publication to help victim service providers better assist victims of identity theft and financial fraud.

Identity theft and financial fraud are increasingly common crimes, but relatively few resources exist to prepare victim service providers to help victims of these crimes. Although identity theft is considered a nonviolent crime, victims often report that they suffer trauma similar in intensity to that of violent crime victims. Added to this emotional trauma is the burden of having to prove one’s innocence.

Expanding Services To Reach Victims of Identity Theft and Financial Fraud showcases the efforts of four grantees helping victims of these crimes and offers practical tools and information on developing case protocols, training staff, and staging campaigns. Self-help materials are also available to help victims become better self-advocates.

Strategies for Offender Reentry in Indian Country

Promising practices and strategies for adults and juveniles transitioning from incarceration back into tribal communities are featured in a new publication by the Community Capacity Development Office.

Strategies for Creating Offender Reentry Programs in Indian Country provides an historical overview and reference material for tribal justice practitioners, administrators, and policymakers. It encourages tribes to develop culture-based policies and procedures within the reentry and reintegration process, to define tribal government responsibilities, and to engage communities and villages as resources. It also presents seven policy recommendations and practical steps for designing and developing reentry programs in Indian Country.

This is just one of a series of Department of Justice efforts to help professionals and communities focus on reentry. Attorney General Eric Holder recently spoke about the evolution of the reentry field. "More and more corrections departments now consider reentry planning to be a part of their core functions," he said, "and agencies that tackle housing, health, and other issues have begun to see effective reentry as part of their larger mission."

More information about OJP’s reentry initiative is available online.

Nationwide Event Promotes Afterschool Programs

Again this year, OJJDP supported the annual Lights On Afterschool initiative in October. More than 7,500 events were held across America to raise awareness of the importance of afterschool programs and the positive role they can play in youths’ lives. New York’s Empire State Building was lit up in yellow on October 21 to mark Lights On Afterschool.

More than a million people throughout the United States participated in street fairs, open houses, fun runs, science and math competitions, community parades, and more to celebrate Lights On Afterschool, the only nationwide rally for afterschool programs. The event is sponsored by the Afterschool Alliance, a nonprofit public awareness and advocacy organization.


BJA National Conference

BJA will hold its National Conference, Advancing Justice through Evidence and Innovation, December 6–8, 2010, in Washington, D.C. The conference will emphasize how evidence and innovation can be leveraged to improve justice systems and ensure community safety. Registration is free and available online.

Intellectual Property Forum

On December 8, 2010, following its National Conference, BJA invites state and local law enforcement personnel, prosecutors, industry personnel, and representatives of national organizations to participate in an Intellectual Property Forum. This forum will highlight the importance of preventing and responding to intellectual property crimes. Free, online registration is open.

Tribal Justice, Safety, and Wellness Session

The Department of Justice will host an Interdepartmental Tribal Justice, Safety, and Wellness Session in Palm Springs, California, December 7–8, 2010. Sessions will feature information from across OJP and the entire Department of Justice. Visit the Tribal Justice and Safety Web site to learn more and to register.

International Conference on Child and Family Maltreatment

OJJDP is partnering with the Chadwick Center and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children to support this annual conference on best practices for preventing, investigating, treating, and prosecuting child and family maltreatment. The conference will take place January 22–28, 2011, in San Diego, California. Registration is available online.

American Correctional Association Winter Conference

On January 28–February 2, 2011, the American Correctional Association will host its 2011 winter conference in San Antonio, Texas. A wide variety of intensive training sessions and workshops will be offered. Online registration is now available.

OJP Grant Awards

OJP’s Web site includes a list of all grant awards made in FY 2010.

Contact Us

If you have questions, comments, or feedback, please contact OJP’s Office of Communications.

Justice Resource Update is designed to help criminal justice practitioners stay informed and better serve their constituents by providing valuable information about federal resources, advancements in the field, and training opportunities. We strive to provide information you can use, and we welcome your input.

E-mail: AskOJP
Web site: www.ojp.gov
Phone: 202-307-0703