Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Amy L. Solomon of the Office of Justice Programs Delivers Remarks at the Community Violence Intervention and Prevention Initiative Grantee Convening
Assistant Attorney General Karol V. Mason of the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) today announced funding of more than $34.5 million, through nine separate grant programs, to more than 40 jurisdictions, research institutions and other grantees, to reduce crime, improve community safety and provide a science-based approach to criminal justice operations.
Administered under OJP’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, the “Smart Suite” of programs represents a strategic approach that brings more science into criminal justice operations by leveraging innovative applications of analysis, technology and evidence-based practices with the goal of improving performance and effectiveness while containing costs. The Smart Suite touches every aspect of the criminal justice system, from arrest to prosecution to reentry, relying on practitioner-researcher relationships that use data, evidence and innovation to enable jurisdictions to understand the full nature and extent of local crime challenges.
During the Sept. 7, 2016, Smart Suite Summit, Assistant Attorney General Mason described the programs’ proven track records of helping communities target crime hot spots, promote neighborhood revitalization and increase public safety. She noted that Corning, California—a Byrne Criminal Justice Program grant recipient—saw a 30 percent decrease in violent crime since early 2015. Under the Smart Prosecution Initiative, the St. Louis, Missouri, Circuit Attorney’s Office is now working with police, courts and local university researchers on a gun diversion program that targets individuals convicted of a felony.
“These successes are no accident,” said Assistant Attorney General Mason. “They happened because of a commitment to smart, sustainable public safety strategies grounded in data and research. These awards help communities pursue evidence-based and community partnerships to reduce crime and increase public safety.”
Grants awarded to specific jurisdictions under individual 2016 Smart Suite programs include the following:
Enhancing Researcher-Practitioner Partnerships: Smart Suite Training and Technical Assistance Program: More than $2.1 million was awarded to Michigan State University under this program, which supports the development, enhancement, and needs of researcher-practitioner relationships in all of the Smart Suite programs. The training and technical assistance includes measuring individual program outcomes; using data to identify criminal justice and public safety-related problems; assessing implementation fidelity; developing logic models; developing “real time” products and resources for strategic decision making; and making recommendations for program improvement. For more information about this program, visit http://go.usa.gov/xKep8.
Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program: About $8 million was awarded to 10 local criminal justice and community agencies and research institutions via this program, which helps communities develop comprehensive strategies that target neighborhoods with hot spots of crime and violence. Awardees include: the Boston Public Health Commission; the City of Battle Creek, MI; the Board of Highland County Ohio Commissioners; Rockdale County, GA; the City of Hartford, CT; the City of Shreveport, LA; the Milwaukee Police Dept., WI; the University of Maryland; Northwest N.J. Community Action Program, Inc.; and the City of Tulsa, OK. For more information about this program, visit http://go.usa.gov/xKeyw.
Smart Policing Initiative. More than $4.4 million was awarded to five jurisdictions and the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council under this program. This initiative seeks to promote analysis-driven, evidence-based policing by encouraging state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies to develop effective, economical and innovative responses to crime. Awardees include: The City of Lowell, MA; the City of Madison, WI; the Detroit Police Dept.; the Kansas City, MO Board of Police Commissioners; and the County of Sacramento, CA. Nearly $1 million went to CNA Corporation to provide training and technical assistance to grant recipients. For more information about this program, visit http://go.usa.gov/xKeyf.
Project Safe Neighborhoods: More than $5.7 million was awarded to 16 jurisdictions under this program, which creates safer neighborhoods through a sustained reduction in gang violence and gun crime. PSN has a cooperative approach and unified strategies led by the U.S. Attorney (USA) who with a collaborative PSN task force of federal, state, and local law enforcement, community members, and other key partners to implements using data and research with a local research partner.
Smart Prosecution Initiative: More than $2.2 million was awarded to five jurisdictions under this program, which encourages state, local, and tribal prosecutorial agencies to develop analysis-driven, evidence-based and economically-sound practices. Awardees include: Essex County, N.J. Prosecutor’s Office; D.C. Office of the Attorney General; Chatham County, GA Board of Commissioners/District Attorney; Jackson County, MO Prosecutor’s Office; and the Florida State Attorney’s Office, 11th Judicial Circuit. This award includes $461,852 in funding to the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys for training and technical assistance. For more information about this program, visit http://go.usa.gov/xKeyd.
Smart Defense Initiative Answering Gideon’s Call: Improving Public Defense Delivery Systems Competitive Grant: Nearly $400,000 was awarded to support the expansion of the Smart Defense program to Contra Costa County, CA, in addition to the five sites funded in FY 2015. Smart Defense strives to ensure that all persons accused of a crime have the aid of a lawyer with the time, ability, and resources to present an effective defense. For more information about this program, visit http://go.usa.gov/xKeyU.
Smart Pretrial Initiative: Nearly $300,000 was awarded to support the sustainment phase of this effort to enhance the pretrial process in three locations, to enhance the use of risk assessment in pretrial decisions, enhance the fairness of the process and to increase pretrial detention and use of jail for low risk persons in the pretrial process.
Smart Reentry: Focus on Evidence-based Strategies for Successful Reentry from Incarceration to Community Program: Nearly $6 million was awarded to six jurisdictions under this program, which helps communities develop strategies that increase formerly incarcerated individuals’ successful reentry into their communities. Awardees include: the Wisconsin Dept. of Justice; Newark, N.J.; Contra Costa County, CA; Fulton County, GA; Prince George’s County, MD; and Muscogee Creek Nation, OK. For more information about this program, visit http://go.usa.gov/xKepm
Smart Supervision Program: More than $5.4 million was awarded to seven jurisdictions under this program. This initiative is designed to improve supervision strategies that will reduce recidivism through evidence-based probation and parole approaches. Awardees include: Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Common Pleas Court; Office of the Attorney General of Virginia; the Wisconsin Dept. of Corrections; the Connecticut Judicial Branch; the Louisiana Dept. of Public Safety and Corrections; the Ohio Dept. of Rehabilitation and Correction; and the Virginia Dept. of Corrections. Two additional awards totaling $737,886 will be awarded separately to the National Reentry Resource Center for training and technical assistance for this program. For more information about this program, visit http://go.usa.gov/xKeV3.
The Office of Justice Programs (OJP), headed by Assistant Attorney General Karol V. Mason, provides federal leadership in developing the nation’s capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP has six bureaus and offices: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; the Office for Victims of Crime, and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART). More information about OJP and its components can be found at www.ojp.gov.