A major activity of Bureau of Justice Assistance National Technical Assistance and Training Project entails provision of a wide range of technical assistance to support efforts of state and local justice agencies in developing pandemic preparedness capabilities. Since assisting BJA in the planning and conduct of the May 2006 National Symposium, “Justice and Public Health Systems Planning: Confronting a Pandemic Outbreak” (see www.ojp.usdoj.gov/BJA/pandemic/pandemic_main.html), the project has been providing ongoing support to justice system agencies in addressing legal, operational, and interagency issues relevant to pandemic planning.
Since October 2006, BJA’s Pandemic Influenza Consortium of justice agencies has been meeting semi-monthly to share information and planning activities underway in the respective disciplines represented by the Consortium.
Special Pandemic Influenza Supplement to the BJA Criminal Courts Technical Assistance Project
American University has received a supplemental award to its BJA Criminal Courts Technical Assistance Project (CCTAP) that will be used solely to assist local and state courts in undertaking planning and implementation processes critical in ensuring that the state judicial systems have the ability to maintain the rule of law in any pandemic emergency situation. This special initiative will extend through calendar year 2007.
The special initiative component of the CCTAP project has three elements:
- An intensive, 2-month effort, completed in August 2006, to develop a guide for courts in developing and implementing a pandemic influenza preparedness plan. This publication, entitled Guidelines for Pandemic Emergency Preparedness Planning: A Road Map for Courts, was produced by an 8-member, multidisciplinary Task Force representing expertise in the areas of judicial processes, public health administration, law enforcement, and judicial system-public health system coordination. The “Road Map” was published by BJA in March 2007 and is available here.
As a corollary to the Road Map, AU is developing a multi-media presentation on pandemic emergency preparedness based on the Guide and incorporating materials prepared by various contributors to the BJA-sponsored Symposium on Justice System Preparedness for Pandemic Emergencies, held in Chicago last Spring. This training package will be distributed to Judicial Education offices in each of the state court systems and to State Administrative Agencies for use in their respective in-state training activities. A single national or two regional “train the trainers” programs will be conducted for one representative of each SAA and State Judicial Education Office concurrent with the dissemination of this training package.
- Technical Assistance: Using multi-disciplinary consultants drawn from the public administration and public health communities identified in the course of preparing for the BJA national symposium (see “National Technical Assistance and Training Project”) and the Task Force activity mentioned above, the CCTAP is providing technical assistance to state and local courts already undertaking or imminently involved in undertaking pandemic preparedness planning. With publication of the Task Force’s Road Map, this TA will be extended to provide assistance to jurisdictions that wish to receive start-up assistance with implementation of the Guide. In carrying out the technical assistance component of this special initiative, the CCTAP will utilize all of the technical assistance delivery modalities currently used by CCTAP, including, but not limited to: on-site consultant services, hosted site visits, production and dissemination of resource documents, organization and conduct of focus groups, planning and conduct of state and regional training workshops, and defrayment of travel expenses and other support for project-provided faculty at national and state BJA-supported training programs and symposia related to pandemic preparedness.
- Partnership with the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) in recognition of the nexus of courts and county sheriffs’ departments in achieving enforcement of court orders and in court security matters. The expertise of this national constituent organization’s staff and its access to the national network of county sheriffs’ offices makes it an essential partner in carrying out this courts pandemic preparedness initiative. In conducting the project, AU and NSA will coordinate closely with the law enforcement, corrections, and state courts COOP planning TA efforts that are contemplated in BJA’s comprehensive “justice system response to pandemics” support plan.
AU also will work with the National Center for State Courts to develop a pandemic preparedness “supplement” to the COOP planning guide that will be developed by the National Center for State Courts with BJA funding during the 12-month time period within which AU’s special initiative will be undertaken. For further information on justice system pandemic preparedness activities underway, see also “pandemic preparedness” activities being conducted under the “National Technical Assistance and Training Project”.
The materials posted in this section are designed to provide both an overview as well as examples of the pandemic preparedness activities being conducted by the state and local justice agencies. These materials reflect the different approaches and strategies being taken by state and local courts and other justice agencies to best serve their communities. While none of these documents are posted as “best practice” recommendations for a pandemic response, they provide examples of resources that have been developed by state and local justice agencies for use within their particular state justice system and public health agency structure and substantive law that currently exist. Hopefully, users of this website will be able to adapt these documents, as appropriate , to their particular situations. To further the use of this site as a planning resource, we welcome examples of pandemic preparedness planning materials other courts and justice agencies have developed. Please send any relevant materials for potential inclusion on this site to: Justice Programs Office, School of Public Affairs, American University.: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Bureau of Justice Assistance National Technical Assistance and Training Project