Prosecutors, judges, and court personnel are continuously looking for new approaches to clearing cases, decreasing dockets and preventing recidivism. Throughout the U.S., experts have found that crimes involving drugs, gun violence and mentally ill and disabled populations respond to special efforts to help hold accountable the individuals who have committed the crime, while also ensuring those individuals return to the community with the services and supervision they need to help them stop their negative behavior. Local court personnel may choose methods unique to their communities to meet these needs, and OJP is committed to providing the resources, tools, and support needed to help them test their ideas.
Several OJP bureaus provide programming and research support to address court-related issues:
- The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) administers programming designed to assist prosecutors in several ways, including enhancing their ability to address gun crimes. BJA also provides assistance to adult drug courts and mental health courts across the country.
- The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) contributes to the reduction of youth crime and violence through its support of juvenile and family drug courts.
- The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) sponsors criminal court research and court-based program evaluation to identify tools, programs, and policies that satisfy criminal justice goals including public safety, cost-efficiency, and fair and equitable treatment of victims and defendants.
Visit the following sites to learn about court-related funding opportunities from OJP bureaus and other federal sources:
See the OJP Current Funding Opportunities page to learn more about opportunities and to access archived solicitations.
- Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)
- Court Statistics Project
- Criminal Justice/Mental Health Consensus Project
- Judges' and Psychiatrists' Leadership Initiative
Training and Technical Assistance
- Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA): National Training and Technical Assistance Center (NTTAC)
- National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS): Justice Events
- National Institute of Justice (NIJ): Events
- Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP): Juvenile Drug Treatment Court Guidelines
Information on the use of DNA to exonerate inmates postconviction can be found on the Wrongful Convictions and the Exonerations Resulting from NIJ Postconviction DNA Testing Funding sections of the National Institute of Justice website.
Through grant funding, the Office of Justice Programs has provided millions of dollars to state and local forensic science laboratories to increase casework capacity, reduce backlogs, and improve quality. For example, grants obtained through the Postconviction Testing of DNA Evidence program can be used to help defray the costs associated with postconviction DNA testing for violent felony offenses in which actual innocence might be demonstrated.
The Justice 101 Legal Terms Glossary, a resource from the Offices of the United States Attorneys, provides the following definition for "bail":
Security given for the release of a criminal defendant or witness from legal custody (usually in the form of money) to secure his/her appearance on the day and time appointed.