BJA Strategic Plan 2013-2016/2013 Projected Grant Funding

Denise S. Schlegel

The Bureau of Justice has published its Strategic Plan for 2013 and 2016 and the 2013 projected state, local and tribal law enforcement grant funding.  The BJA is the manager of all grant programs, grant funds and management of the grant funds for justice grants. The overarching guiding principle statement is to “Reduce crime, recidivism, and unnecessary confinement, and promote a safe and fair criminal justice system”. The BJA will use this document to continue its work to assist in improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the nation’s criminal justice system. The plan is built upon five major strategic focus areas:

1. Reduction of violent crime, the improvement of community safety, and support for public safety officers.

2. Reduction of recidivism and prevention of unnecessary confinement.

3. Integration of evidence-based, research-driven strategies into the day-to-day operations of BJA and the programs BJA administers and supports.

4. Increasing program effectiveness with a renewed emphasis on data analysis, information sharing, and performance management.

5. Ensuring organizational excellence.

In FY 2012, BJA managed the implementation of more than 27 funding streams for approximately $1.07 billion. In total, we currently manage over 10,000 active grant awards worth more than $5.5 billion. BJA’s programs emphasize enhanced coordination and cooperation of federal, state, local, and tribal efforts.  The National Criminal Justice Association reported that the 53.7 % of the JAG were distributed to Task Forces, 33% equipment/technology, 11.7% for Operations and the other 1.26% for terrorism, trafficking and immigration (Cornerstone for Justice/Bryne JAG and its impact on the Criminal Justice System www.ncja.otg ).

The Bureau of Justice six strategic goals are as follows:

1. BJA will support effective criminal justice policy, programs, information sharing and collaborations within state, local and tribal agencies and communities. Key strategies for implementation of this goal are effective models in law enforcement, high quality and relevant training, evidence-based risk and needs assessment, development of practical tools to share solutions to the field, and responding to emerging public safety tools

2. BJA will promote the use of data, research, and information to increase the effectiveness of criminal justice programs. Key strategic include assistance for access/sharing of data for decision making, serving as a facilitator for promoting innovation, posting and sharing of evidence-based practices, promoting evidence, based and promising practices and programs and sharing effective models, trends and relevant research.

3. BJA will enhance its ability to provide Public Safety Officers’ Benefits (PSOB) and services to survivors of public safety officers killed, and to officers catastrophically injured, in the line of duty. Key strategies include developing a responsive and timely electronic based system for claimants, raise awareness of the program, and establish an advisory group with PSOB stakeholders.

4. BJA will improve criminal justice outcomes through effective grant management and oversight. Key strategies include improving the peer review process plus enhance the aggregation of the performance data  more efficiently and effectively

5. BJA will be a high-performing organization where employees are valued and provide excellent customer service. . Strategies include the development of opportunities for promoting workforce excellence to improve BJA’s customer interface, developing an internal recognition program for excellence of employees and promotion of the use of telework.

6. BJA will ensure organizational excellence and accountability. Strategies include the creation of a tracking system to archive BJA’s response to grantees, leverage technology to manage work and enhance communication among staff, expand documentation of BJA policies and procedures to increase efficiency and increase cost savings

To review the entire strategic plan please goes to http://www.justice.gov/publications/strategic-plans.html

In conjunction with the strategic planning process the Department of Justice published a 2013 overview of the grant funding for local, state and tribal law enforcement organization (US Department of Justice 2013 Budget Request). Keep in mind this is a budget request from USDOJ and not the final approved 2013 budget. As we all know from the news, the President, US House and US Senate have not been able to complete the 2013 budgetary process. This budget request is an inside look at the 2013 funding priorities only not the final budget. The $2 Billion budget request is to allow the Department to continue to support the state, local and tribal partners who fight violent crime, combat violence against women and support victim programs. Many of the current programs are missing by name such as Project Safe neighborhood and the GREAT grant but the final budget details are incomplete until Congress and the President agree on a final budget.

For increases in justice community grants included in this request is

$412.5 million (equal to FY 2012) for the Office of Violence against Women which also funds the Crimes Victims Fund.
Additional $91 million for COPS 2013 for a total of $257.1 million to fund officers
$60 million for the Byrne Justice Assistance formula Grant
$10 million Byrne Competitive Grant
$52 million to provide policy development, training, technical assistance for Problem-Solving Justice programs ( there are no  FY 2013 current services)
$17.0 million for the Second Chance Act for reduction of re-offending and violations of probation and Parole
$80 million for the Justice Information Sharing and Technology Program
$8.0 million Bryne Criminal Justice Innovation Program
$8, 0 Million for a total of $15 the Cyber Crime and Intellectual Property Enforcement Program
$17 million for a total of $25.0 million for Community-based Violence Prevention Programs
$365 Million for the Crime Victims Fund
$3.0 million for the Public Safety Officer’s Program
$3.5 Million for Rural Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Enforcement Assistance Program
$189.00 Million for Stop Programs
$250 million Medical Malpractice Grants Imitative to states to reform the way they resolve medical malpractice disputes

To access this document go to http://www.justice.gov/jmd/2013factsheets/state-local-tle.pdf

The budgetary process in Washington is a fluid process until the final votes are counted.  This is a good time, however for each law enforcement organization to evaluate and assess where their department stands with their current grant funding, assess what is needed for the next three years and to begin building a justified case statement for funding. Each and every department interested in obtaining grant funding will also need a strong strategic plan which aligns with their state strategic plan.  Any law enforcement agency without these essential documents will not be able to compete in the federal process and probably their state grant funding process. As grant funds become harder to obtain, it may also be time to think creatively on how to diversify income.

Wishing you and your family a Happy and Safe Holiday Season!!! May you also find a prosperous new year!!

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