Archive for the ‘Bureau of Justice Assistance’ Category

Ten Truths That Matter When Working With Justice Involved Women

August 7, 2012 Comments off

Ten Truths That Matter When Working With Justice Involved Women (PDF)
Source: National Resource Center on Justice Involved Women

This document reviews ten truths about justice involved women—gleaned from the research over the last few decadesthat must be recognized if we are to successfully manage this population, achieve greater reductions in recidivism, and improve public safety outcomes. It is our hope that by understanding these truths, criminal justice policymakers and practitioners will be more aware of gender differences and take steps to enhance their approaches to managing justice involved women.

Volunteers in Police Service Add Value While Budgets Decrease

January 16, 2012 Comments off
Source:  Bureau of Justice Assistance
While in the midst of budget cuts, many law enforcement agencies are being asked to take on additional responsibilities due to cuts and restructuring in other government agencies. Seventy-seven percent of agencies were asked to increase their support of other agencies and asked to shoulder additional responsibilities in the last year.
More than ever, volunteerism in the law enforcement arena has become a need and not a luxury. The financial return on investment of a volunteer program can be substantial, amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of value added to the agency each year. In 2009, IACP’s Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) Program held a focus group to see how agencies were coping with tightening budgets by utilizing their existing volunteer programs. While agencies were cutting staff and programs, the use of volunteers remained consistent or, in some cases, increased. Many agencies have responded to the tough financial climate by training and placing volunteers in duties not previously performed by volunteers.
The services provided by VIPS volunteers are essential. As we look to the future, it is clear that the economic outlook is not going to change anytime soon. Shrinking budgets and limited resources will remain the norm for some time. In the IACP Policing in the 21st Century survey, one-third of law enforcement leaders said they will have to further reduce their budgets by 10 percent or more in the coming year.  In these difficult times, volunteers can enhance public safety and services and offer a wealth of skills and resources to law enforcement and their communities.

A Full Response to an Empty House: Public Safety Strategies for Addressing Mortgage Fraud and the Foreclosure Crisis

July 27, 2011 Comments off

A Full Response to an Empty House: Public Safety Strategies for Addressing Mortgage Fraud and the Foreclosure Crisis (PDF)
Source: Bureau of Justice Assistance

This report provides an overview of law enforcement and government responses to mortgage fraud, foreclosure, and abandoned property, drawing on focus groups sponsored by BJA in January 2009. The focus groups brought together representatives from Indio, CA, Dallas, Indianapolis, Baltimore, and Miami, as well as researchers, policymakers, and advocates from financial, housing, and law enforcement organizations.

State of the Science of Pretrial Risk Assessment

July 18, 2011 Comments off

State of the Science of Pretrial Risk Assessment (PDF)
Source: Bureau of Justice Assistance

Procedural fairness is the cornerstone of a criminal justice system that supports the guarantees of our legal system—innocent until proven guilty. Since the first bail reform experiment in the 1960’s, jurisdictions have struggled to identify how to accurately predict who is likely to appear in court and remain law-abiding if released pending trial. Good public safety practice and sound fiscal management of local resources, like jails and courts, suggests the need for a renewed approach to decision making at pretrial.

Modern data management has shown that validated pretrial risk assessments are within the reach of every community and evidence-based tools that inform the pretrial release decision produce better outcomes than by relying on a standard bond schedule.

The Bureau of Justice Assistance is committed to assisting local jurisdictions as they strive to meet national, evidence-based standards on pretrial release. As part of this commitment, the Bureau convened leading researchers and professionals in the field of pretrial justice to discuss the efficacy and implementation of pretrial risk assessment. The purpose of the meeting was to determine how best to successfully assist local systems in the development and use of an evidence-based approach to pretrial justice. This document raises many questions and issues worthy of further investigation and study, but it also demystifies much of the misunderstandings involved in the development and application of these useful tools.

Addressing Foreclosed and Abandoned Properties

March 22, 2011 Comments off

Addressing Foreclosed and Abandoned Properties
Source: Bureau of Justice Assistance

Nearly 3.2 million foreclosures occurred in the U.S. in 2008, an all-time high. In many jurisdictions, the number and location of vacant properties changed so rapidly that officials had trouble tracking them, let alone formulating an effective response. The city of Cleveland, for example, estimated in early 2009 that at least 10,000 (or one in 13) of its houses were vacant while the county treasurer estimated that the number was 15,000–50 percent higher.

While much of the public’s attention has been focused on the economic repercussions of the nation’s housing crisis, the repercussions for law enforcement have been just as significant: vacant properties generate a host of interrelated problems, from unsafe structures and higher rates of crime to homelessness and strains on municipal services.

Jurisdictions across the U.S. have responded differently, tackling the problem from various angles. Many of the strategies deployed are the result of collaborations across government agencies and among public and private sectors. Police, city attorneys, district attorneys, U.S. attorneys, housing and building departments, health departments, community development organizations, landlords, private developers, banks, mortgage lenders, legislators, and regulators are finding ways to work together to slow or halt foreclosures, stem the decline of neighborhoods, improve quality of life, and plan for new growth.

This document offers a sampling of responses developed by jurisdictions across the U.S. It is intended to serve as a quick reference for law enforcement and government agencies looking for ideas to address vacant and abandoned properties. For ease of reference it is divided into three types of responses: Prevention, Enforcement, and Reuse.


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