The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) is the principal criminal justice statistical agency in the nation. BJS collects and analyzes statistical data on crime, drug use, crime victims, and other criminal justice issues. BJS maintains more than two dozen major data collection series from which it publishes and distributes reports nationwide. The largest of these is the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) which measures the prevalence of crime in the United States annually. NCVS is the only national crime measure that includes both reported and unreported crimes. BJS also provides financial and technical support to state statistical agencies and administers special programs that aid state and local governments in improving their criminal justice records and information systems.
Through its National Criminal History Improvement Program (NCHIP), authorized under the 1994 Crime Act, BJS is helping states automate and update their criminal history record systems and, at the same time, implement the provisions of the Brady Bill and the National Child Protection Act of 1993. The Brady Bill requires a 5-day waiting period before the purchase of a firearm to allow law enforcement officials to check for a purchasers' criminal record. The Child Protection Act prohibits persons with criminal records from working with children or the elderly. BJS awards grants to the 50 states and the District of Columbia to help them implement the Crime Act and enhance their efforts to keep felons from purchasing handguns, prevent sex offenders from working with children and the elderly, and identify repeat offenders who may be subject to "three strikes" laws.
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is the principal research and development agency in the Department of Justice. NIJ supports research and development programs, conducts demonstrations of innovative approaches to improve criminal justice, develops new criminal justice technologies, and evaluates the effectiveness of justice programs. For example, NIJ is evaluating the implementation and effectiveness of programs authorized by the 1994 Crime Act.
For example, NIJ is evaluating the implementation and effectiveness of programs authorized by the 1994 Crime Act. In partnership with COPS, NIJ awarded almost $2.5 million in Crime Act funds for research on community policing--perhaps the largest single infusion of federal funding for police research and evaluation in the nation's history. Some $10.7 million of this total is supporting a national evaluation of the implementation of the community policing provision (Section 10003, Title I) in the 1994 Crime Act.
Through a unique partnership with the Department of Defense (DOD), NIJ is helping to transfer technology developed by the military for use by state and local law enforcement agencies. In 1994 DOD and the Justice Department entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that establishes a five-year partnership to formalize joint technology sharing and development efforts for law enforcement and those military operations unrelated to war. The MOU also enables DOD to use NIJ's five regional National Law Enforcement Technology Centers, located in Rome, New York; Charleston, South Carolina; Denver, Colorado; and El Segundo and San Diego, California. In addition to research and development, the Centers provide information about equipment, standards, testing, and data- base development to state and local law enforcement agencies.
NIJ developed and operates the Partnerships Against Violence Network (PAVNET), is an online service available through the Internet that makes information from over 30 federal agencies about promising violence prevention programs easily accessible to state and local governments, as well as the general public. Information on promising programs, funding resources, and technical and other information is included in the database. Its Internet address is pavnet.esusda.gov.
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) provides federal leadership in preventing delinquency and improving the juvenile justice system at the state and local levels. OJJDP provides grants to states to help them improve their juvenile justice systems and sponsors innovative demonstration and research programs to help improve the nation's understanding of and response to juvenile crime.
Under the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) of 1974, as amended (42 U.S.C. 5601 et seq.), OJJDP awards discretionary grants directly to state and local governments, private agencies, organizations, and individuals to demonstrate innovative and promising approaches to delinquency prevention and control. OJJDP also conducts research and evaluations and provides training and technical assistance. Areas of focus include: determining the causes and correlates of delinquency; addressing serious, violent, and chronic juvenile offenders; implementing graduated sanctions; curbing illegal drug use and gang activity; developing truancy prevention and intervention programs; and enhancing secure and nonsecure community-based programs and services for delinquent juvenile offenders.
Through its Missing and Exploited Children's Program (42 U.S.C. 5771-5778), OJJDP provides discretionary funds to develop and coordinate a network of resources and provide effective policies and procedures to benefit missing and exploited children. This includes support for a network of 45 state clearinghouses and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Research and demonstration programs focus on data collection, improving the response to and recovery of missing children, psychological impact of abduction on children and their families, reunification of missing children with their families, and behavioral analysis of child molesters and abductors. OJJDP also administers grants under the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990, as amended (Pub. L. 101-647), to train judges and prosecutors, establish court-appointed special advocate programs, and support children's advocacy centers.OJJDP awards JJDPA formula grants to states. Formula grants are allocated according to a statutory formula based on each state's population under age 18. The states subgrant these funds to support state and local programs designed to reduce juvenile delinquency and improve the juvenile justice system. Under the State Challenge Activities program, each state participating in OJJDP's Formula Grants Program may receive up to 10 percent of the amount of its formula grant allocation for each of 10 "challenge activities" in which the state agrees to participate. Challenge activities are designed to improve the administration of juvenile justice in the state. Under Title V of the JJDP Act, OJJDP awards grants to State Advisory Groups to subgrant to units of local government to support delinquency prevention programs.
The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) provides federal leadership in assisting innocent victims of crime and their families. OVC administers two grant programs created by the Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (VOCA) (42 U.S.C. 10601 et seq.). VOCA created a Crime Victims Fund in the United States Treasury to provide federal financial assistance to compensate and assist victims of crime. Monies in the Fund come from fines and penalties paid by convicted federal defendants, and not from innocent taxpayers. OVC's Victims Assistance Program gives grants to states to support programs that provide direct assistance to crime victims, such as battered women's shelters, rape crisis centers, and counseling for child abuse and other crime victims. States are encouraged to use these funds for programs for underserved crime victims, such as Native Americans, families of homicide victims, and victims of drunk driving. The Victims Compensation Program provides funding to state programs tha compensate crime victims for medical and other unreimbursed expenses resulting from a violent crime.
OVC also sponsors training for federal, state, and local criminal justice officials and other professionals to help improve their response to crime victims and their families. A portion of the Crime Victims Fund is available each year to support services for victims of federal crimes. OVC's Federal Crime Victims Program has focused on improving assistance services for victims of federal crimes in Indian country. OVC monitors compliance with the Attorney General Guidelines for Victim and Witness Assistance and provides guidance to federal investigators, prosecutors, and victim-witness coordinators on the treatment of federal crime victims and witnesses. In addition, OVC works with U.S. Attorney offices throughout the country to provide emergency assistance to federal crime victims.
Another portion of the Crime Victims Fund supports OVC's Children's Justice Act Grant Program for Native Americans, which provides grants to enable federally recognized Indian tribes to improve the investigation, prosecution, and handling of child abuse cases.
[cited in USAM 1-2.305]