Weekly News Brief
Attorney General Eric Holder Launches Law Enforcement Officer Safety Initiative-This week, in a meeting with law enforcement officers in Washington, D.C., Attorney General Eric Holder announced that he has directed every U.S. Attorney to meet with federal, state, tribal, and local law enforcement officials in their districts to ensure that these officials are informed about the Department's officer safety resources. He noted that these resources include the RISSafe Officer Safety Event Deconfliction System, which the Bureau of Justice Assistance established to share information on a 24/7 basis about planned law enforcement events such as raids, controlled buy operations, surveillance and warrant service actions. Another resource he highlighted is the Bulletproof Vest Partnership, which provides reimbursement to law enforcement agencies purchasing vests that meet program criteria. In addition, the Attorney General said that, within 60 days, BJA will develop an officer safety "toolkit" that will help law enforcement leaders learn more about these and other officer safety resources. http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2011/March/11-ag-358.html
NIJ Publishes Papers Debating Police Professionalism for the 21st Century—The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) recently published two papers from the Executive Session on Policing and Public Safety, a roundtable funded by NIJ and managed by Harvard University's Kennedy Schools Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management. In The Persistent Pull of Police Professionalism, Harvard Executive Session member David Sklansky argues that some new approaches to policing, including intelligence-led policing and predictive policing, represent a worrisome return to police professionalism – the model of policing that was replaced by community policing in the 1980's. In contrast, Toward a New Professionalism in Policing, written by Harvard Executive Session members Christopher Stone and Jeremy Travis, proposes a framework for executives, officers and the community to shape and understand the work of police departments. This framework relies on increased accountability for police in both effectiveness and conduct; greater legitimacy in the eyes of the citizenry; continuous innovation in tactics and strategies for interacting with offenders, victims and the general public. Both publications can be found on the NIJ website at: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/topics/law-enforcement/administration/executive-sessions/papers.htm
BJS Issues Report on Punitive Damage Awards in State Courts, 2005—The Bureau of Justice Statistics released Punitive Damage Awards in State Courts, 2005, which presents findings on civil trials concluded in 2005 in which punitive damages were requested or awarded. This report discusses major civil categories such as intentional tort, automobile accident, medical malpractice, product liability, and employment discrimination and the rates in which litigants requested and received punitive damages. The report also describes variations in punitive damage activity by different pairings of plaintiff and defendant litigants and examines punitive damage award activity between bench and jury trials. http://bjs.gov/
OJJDP Issues New Fact Sheet on Juvenile Offenders Through Early Adulthood—Highlights from Pathways to Desistance: A Longitudinal Study of Serious Adolescent Offenders provides an overview of major findings from this study which followed 1,354 serious juvenile offenders for seven years following conviction. This study is the most comprehensive data set currently available about serious adolescent offenders. It examines factors that lead youth who have committed serious offenses to continue or desist from offending, including individual maturation, life changes, and involvement with the criminal justice system. Study findings include: most youth who commit felonies greatly reduce their offending over time; longer stays in juvenile institutions do not reduce recidivism; in the period after incarceration, community-based supervision is effective for youth who have committed serious offenses; and substance abuse treatment reduces both substance use and criminal offending for a limited time. http://ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/230971.pdf
Youth Violence Summit is Open to the News Media—Mon., April 4, to Tues., April 5, at the Renaissance Hotel, in Washington, D.C. Media inquiries should be directed to Starr Small, 202-514-9870.
National Crime Victims' Rights Week Prelude Events—Attorney General Eric Holder and Laurie O. Robinson, OJP's Assistant Attorney General, will participate in two prelude events on Thurs., April 7, and Fri., April 8, in Washington, D.C., to launch the 2011 observance of National Crime Victims' Rights Week, April 10-16, 2011. http://www.ncvrw.org