U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs. Innovation. Partnerships. Safer Neighborhoods.
Justice Resource Update. Advancing the Field of Criminal Justice. APRIL 2010
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Working Together

OJP Video
AAG Laurie O. Robinson ...
The number one priority of the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) is to improve our partnerships with professionals in the criminal and juvenile justice fields.

As practitioners and policy makers, your work has a direct impact on neighborhoods and communities. OJP is dedicated to being an essential resource for you as you work to make our communities safer and stronger.

In this issue, Assistant Attorney General Laurie O. Robinson discusses OJP’s three major priorities and explains how achieving them will require strong partnerships with individuals in the field. At OJP, we help to prevent and reduce crime and delinquency by assisting state, local, and tribal criminal and juvenile justice organizations. We incorporate science and promote evidence-based approaches with the help of frontline practitioners. We ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely by fostering transparency and vigilance at every level of the criminal and juvenile justice fields.

Through programs and initiatives featured in this newsletter, OJP is working to enhance partnerships, promote mutual education, and consider new approaches to old problems. We hope you enjoy the new version of Justice Resource Update and look forward to continuing to strengthen our partnerships. If you have any feedback, please do not hesitate to contact us by visiting www.ojp.gov and clicking on Ask OJP under the Contact Us section.

Bullet Working Together
Bullet An Evidence-Based Conference
Bullet No One Is Forgotten: NamUs
Bullet Tribal Solicitation Process Simplified
Bullet Evidence Integration Initiative
Bullet A New Tool for Grant Applicants: Grants 101
Bullet Children Exposed to Violence Initiative
Bullet Mark Your Calendar
An Evidence-Based Conference

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) will hold its annual conference June 14–16, 2010, in Arlington, Virginia. The NIJ Conference brings together criminal and juvenile justice scholars, policy makers, and practitioners to discuss what works, what doesn’t work, and what the research shows is promising. More than any other conference in the field, the NIJ Conference focuses on the importance of integrating science into every facet of criminal and juvenile justice.

Through panels, workshops, and speakers, the NIJ Conference highlights evidence-based policies and practices in criminal and juvenile justice. This year’s keynote speakers include Harvard Law Professor and indigent defense expert Laurence Tribe, and Paula Zahn, host of On the Case with Paula Zahn. A keynote panel of experts will also provide in-depth analysis of the highly publicized arson case that resulted in the execution of Cameron Todd Willingham. Other panels will focus on building safer communities, policing, forensic science policy issues, forensic science technical issues, corrections, courts and sentencing, geography and crime, and violence and victimization.

The conference is free but registration is required. Criminal and juvenile justice researchers, policy makers, practitioners, and students are encouraged to attend. To learn more or to register, please visit www.ojp.gov/nij.

No One Is Forgotten: NamUs

The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) is a free online database that is helping to solve cases by making information about missing and unidentified persons easy to access and search. Information is available to medical examiners, coroners, law enforcement officials, and the public.

Anyone can enter data about missing persons, but all data is verified before it appears on NamUs. The database is searchable.

Only medical examiners and coroners can enter information into NamUs about unidentified decedents. This information can then be searched by anyone, including the public, according to characteristics like gender, race, body features, and dental information.

NamUs automatically performs cross-matching comparisons between the missing and unidentified persons databases, searching for similarities among cases.

Recently, NamUs has been in the national spotlight as a result of a public service announcement (PSA) featured at the end of The Forgotten, a crime drama on ABC. The Forgotten centers on a fictitious network of civilian volunteers who work to identify unknown victims. Christian Slater, the star of the show, provides the voiceover for the PSA, which airs at the end of every episode.

To learn more or to search NamUs, please visit www.namus.gov.

Tribal Solicitation Process Simplified

In response to concerns from tribal leaders, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has streamlined the grant-making process as part of its efforts to improve public safety, criminal and juvenile justice systems, and victim services in tribal communities. This significant change demonstrates Attorney General Eric Holder’s and DOJ’s commitment to a sustained partnership with tribal governments.

The Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation combines DOJ’s tribal government-specific competitive solicitations into one. Now each tribe or tribal consortium only has to submit one application for multiple DOJ grants. This change will significantly simplify the application process and allow tribes to develop comprehensive approaches to public safety and victimization issues.

The deadline for applications is May 17, 2010, at 9 p.m. eastern time. The solicitation is available in OJP’s Grants Management System. For complete information on this solicitation and instructions for how to apply, please visit www.tribaljusticeandsafety.gov.

Evidence Integration Initiative

OJP is continuing its systematic, agency-wide Evidence Integration Initiative, also known as E2I. E2I will help practitioners in the field better understand what practices and approaches have been shown to work, based on scientific principles. OJP also has outlined several additional objectives for E2I, including establishing common definitions of credible evidence across OJP programs; determining how to generate more useful evidence from the programs it funds; expanding efforts to launch randomized field experiments; synthesizing evidence on specific justice topics to develop principles for the field; and launching an evidence-based Web site and resource center to provide support to jurisdictions.

A New Tool for Grant Applicants: Grants 101

OJP Grants 101, a step-by-step tutorial on the grant process, is now available. Designed to help prospective grantees prepare more effective applications, OJP Grants 101 provides vital information for professionals in the field.

The result of feedback from applicants from across the criminal and juvenile justice fields, OJP Grants 101 clearly and concisely explains every step in the grant application process. An overview of the OJP grant process for both competitive and noncompetitive programs is included in this new resource. A description of the application review process is also provided. Expert tips will help applicants find new funding opportunities and write strong proposals.

Please visit www.ojp.gov/grants101 to use this new tool.

Children Exposed to Violence Initiative

The Department of Justice announced more than $5 million in available funds to address the high incidence of American children’s exposure to violence. As part of the Attorney General’s Children Exposed to Violence Initiative, the department has made these funds available through six grant solicitations, targeting planning, outreach, research, and best practices. The announcement is part of the Justice Department’s ongoing commitment to provide leadership and federal assistance to reduce the incidence and impact of children’s exposure to violence across the country.


GMS Upgrades

The Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the Office of Justice Programs announced a major upgrade to the Grants Management System (GMS). Beginning at noon on Friday, May 7, 2010, and extending through the weekend, GMS will be unavailable. During the time GMS is out of service, the CIO will relocate and replace the system’s hardware and network. This action is being taken to modernize GMS and to improve the availability, reliability, and performance of the system.

Police Week

During National Police Week, May 9–15, 2010, our nation will honor law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. For more information, please visit www.nleomf.org.

Internet Crimes Against Children Conference

The 2010 Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) National Conference will be held May 11–14, 2010, in Jacksonville, Florida. Through workshops and lectures, the ICAC Conference provides knowledge and tools for law enforcement investigators, forensic experts, and prosecutors who are combating the online exploitation of children. More information is available at www.icactraining.org.

SMART Conference

The Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART) Office will hold its Annual Training Symposium from May 18–20, 2010, in Portland, Oregon. This annual symposium is part of the SMART Office’s efforts to provide jurisdictions with training as they move toward implementation of Title I of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act. For registration information, visit www.ojp.gov/smart.

Missing Children’s Day

May 25 is National Missing Children’s Day. On this day every year, DOJ honors the professionals who work to reunite missing children with their families and affirms its commitment to protecting our nation’s children.

Funding Opportunities

OJP’s Web site, www.ojp.gov, includes a complete listing of all open solicitations. Just click on Funding at the top of the site to review all funding opportunities. Don’t forget to check the Web site regularly for updates.

In the Next Issue

  • Understanding and Using Evidence-Based Practices
  • Innovations in Grant Management
  • New Resources From the Bureau of Justice Statistics
  • Peer Reviewers: An Essential Part of the Grant Process
  • And More