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The Justice Programs Office supports SPA's mission of applying the tools of scholarship and professionalism to the design and management of public programs in law and criminal justice.

JPO Awarded Two U.S. Department of Justice Grants

The Justice Programs Office is delighted to share that both our National Drug Court Resource, Policy and Evidence-Based Practice Center (NDCRC) and our Juvenile Drug Treatment Court Training and Technical Assistance Initiative (JDTC TTA) have been awarded grants from the U.S. Department of Justice to expand our services to the drug court field.

Visit the NDCRC website to learn about how we will use this funding to develop a new array of resources focused on the national increase in opioid use and how drug courts can help address this issue.

Visit the JDTC TTA website to learn about our plans to expand and extend our training of and technical assistance for juvenile drug treatment courts, as well as our scope to provide practitioners, families, and schools with critical, timely, and new trainings and resources to combat racial and ethnic disparities and the increase in opioid use among youth in their communities.

On the Docket with the National Drug Court Resource Center Podcast

Have you been listening to our podcast, On the Docket with the National Drug Court Resource Center ? It explores problem-solving courts that address substance use, mental health, and co-occurring disorders within the criminal justice system. These voluntary programs serve as a form of deferred adjudication that focuses on rehabilitation and treatment, rather than incarceration.

Past episodes include an interview with Evan Elkin, the executive director of Reclaiming Futures, exploring the basics of and research behind family treatment courts and an interview with Jill Murphy, the program supervisor of the King County Family Treatment Court about how family treatment courts function, innovative strategies for working with participants of family treatment courts, and how to keep a family-centered approach with involvement from large systems.

The host and producer of this podcast is Anna Koozmin, Program Associate at the Justice Programs Office at American University.

To listen and download episodes of this podcast, follow this link to the Apple Podcast Store or click here to visit the NDCRC website.To listen and download episodes of this podcast, follow this l ink to the Apple Podcast Store or click here to visit the NDCRC website.

JPO in the News

Director Kim Ball and Associate Director Tracy Velázquez sat down with Social Work Today to discuss veterans treatment courts (VTCs) and the results of a JPO report on the range of policies, practices, and services in VTC programs across the country. Read more in Veterans Treatment Courts - Helping Vets Seek Justice.

The Atlantic interviewed Senior Policy Counsel Zoë Root about the Sixth Amendment right to counsel and how in many jurisdictions, defendants aren't getting legal representation the first time they go to court. When Does the Right to an Attorney Kick In?

How the System Has Become Public Defenders' Worst Nightmare

In a conversation inspired by 60 Minutes' "Defenseless" episode, Senior Policy Counsel Zoë Root discusses the lack of resources allocated for public defenders to adequately represent their clients and how the Right to Counsel National Campaign is trying to change this. Read here >>

Americans' Views on Public Defenders and The Right to Counsel

On behalf of the Right to Counsel National Campaign (R2C), JPO conducted research with Belden Russonello Strategists, a consulting group that conducts a survey and focus group research to find out how well Americans understand public defense and their right to counsel.

Read the findings of this year-long opinion study in Americans' Views on Public Defenders and The Right to Counsel, outlines the results of a year-long opinion study focused on how well Americans understand public defense and their right to counsel. Download the full report here.

Veterans Treatment Courts: 2015 Survey Results

To provide a framework for developing the parameters of the services that would be most useful to the veterans treatment court (VTC) field, as well as to develop a snapshot of the range of policies, practices, and services in VTCs currently operating, JPO launched a special initiative for the Bureau of Justice Assistance's Adult Drug Court Technical Assistance Project. To read the findings of our Veterans Treatment Courts: 2015 Survey and for additional resources for Veterans Treatment Courts, visit the Veterans Treatment Courts: 2015 Survey Results webpage.

About JPO

The Justice Programs Office (JPO) of the School of Public Affairs (SPA) at American University was established in 1989 to carry out the SPA's mission to apply the tools of scholarship and professionalism to the design, management and evaluation of public programs. Since its establishment, the JPO has been providing technical assistance, research, training, policy development and program evaluation services to government agencies and organizations throughout the U.S. and internationally to promote the application of relevant research findings and professional standards to the operation of justice system and related agencies. Projects address policy, program, resource, and operational issues relating to the administration of justice, coordination of public programs, and the delivery of justice system and associated public health, social and related services.
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