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.
See the Current Funding Opportunities page to learn about opportunities available from the OJP program offices related to this and other topics. Also see Grants.gov for opportunities from other federal agencies.
- Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)
- Court Statistics Project
- Criminal Justice/Mental Health Consensus Project
Training and Technical Assistance
The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) website provides access to information about programs and efforts aimed at improving the justice system's response to people with mental illness. Following are examples of BJA-supported efforts:
The Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative serves as a Federal Advisory Committee (FAC) and advises the U.S. Attorney General on justice information sharing and integration initiatives. It represents more than thirty independent organizations spanning the spectrum of law enforcement, judicial, correctional, and related bodies. For further information, visit the Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative website.
The National Juvenile Court Data Archive (Archive) houses the automated records of cases handled by courts with juvenile jurisdiction. The Archive was established by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to promote access to automated juvenile court data sets, which include information for juvenile justice research and policymaking efforts.
Additionally, Easy Access to Juvenile Court Statistics (EZAJCS) was developed to facilitate independent analysis of national estimates of delinquency cases processed by the nation's juvenile courts. EZAJCS allows users to perform unique analyses on the age, sex, and race of juveniles involved in these cases as well as the referral offense, the use of detention, adjudication and case disposition.