JPO is delighted to welcome you to our blog. Check back weekly for insights from our staff on criminal justice issues of the day, our Friday roundup of the most relevant news articles from the past week, and updates on the latest happenings in our projects.
The Justice Programs Office uses translational research, innovative solutions, and collaboration to advance an equitable justice system that promotes human dignity and respect.
The big idea behind The Justice in Government Project is to embed civil legal aid into state and local governments’ existing priorities, programs, and appropriations to increase effectiveness, efficiency, and fairness for low-and moderate-income people and communities. The Justice in Government Project’s Toolkit was developed to do just that. The Toolkit provides research on how legal aid can help states further their policy and programmatic goals, information about funding legal aid, and examples of successful partnerships and programs.
This Toolkit helps government policymakers, practitioners, grant administrators, legal profession leaders, social service providers, and legal aid or other advocates:
- Learn about the evidence base for using legal aid to further government policy and program goals;
- Identify sources of executive branch funding for legal aid; and
- Find examples of states that currently advance their policy priorities with already appropriated federal block and other public funds that allow spending on legal aid.
JPO is thrilled to announce an award from the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) to assist court personnel in creating and implementing effective, responsive interventions for human trafficking survivors. With this award, JPO will launch Maximizing OVC's Survivor Assistance in Court Settings (MOSAICS). MOSAICS will provide training and technical assistance (TTA) with a trauma-informed, resilience-based, survivor-centered approach designed specifically for a broad range of stakeholders in local adult criminal court settings, including attorneys, judges, probation, parole, and court and correction officers. The TTA will enable justice actors to increase the identification of human trafficking survivors in criminal court settings, enhance survivor referrals to appropriate services, and decrease re-victimization of human trafficking survivors who interact with the justice system.
With a consultant team of nationally recognized human trafficking experts and trafficking survivors, JPO will develop specialized training materials and resources rooted in evidenced based-practices that address all forms of trafficking, including labor trafficking. Together with engaged criminal justice stakeholders, MOSAICS will promote safety and justice for human trafficking survivors vulnerable to arrest. If you have any questions about the new MOSAICS Initiative, please contact Project Director Zoë Root at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This season on the podcast Serial, host Sarah Koenig and reporter Emmanuel Dzotsi explore the criminal justice system by examining ordinary cases and they asked JPO for help. They spent a year at the Justice Center in Cleveland, Ohio, which they selected because it let them record everywhere — courtrooms, back hallways, judges’ chambers, prosecutors’ offices – and then follow those cases outside the building, into neighborhoods, into people’s houses, and into prison.
We watched how justice is calculated in cases of all sizes, from the smallest misdemeanor to the most serious felony. This season, we tell you the extraordinary stories of ordinary cases. One courthouse, week by week.
If you were not able to join the Justice Programs Office at American University and the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys in September for webinar about the role prosecutors play in ensuring the constitutional right to counsel, a recording is now available.
Watch now to hear from Marlene Biener, Deputy General Counsel at the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, Justin Bingham, City Prosecutor of Spokane, Washington, and Genevieve Citrin Ray, Senior Policy Advisor and R2C Project Director at the Justice Programs Office at American University. Ms. Citrin Ray will also preview findings from a Right to Counsel (R2C) National Campaign roundtable that was held with prosecutors in December 2017 and focused on what prosecutors can do to ensure the right to counsel and effective public defense delivery systems.
Watch the Webinar
Issues within the justice system tend to disproportionally effect the least fortunate members of society. Similarly, the overuse of resources by business entities create environmental impacts that tend to disproportionally effect those same members of society. Therefore, the Justice Programs Office is committed to environmental stability. By participating in American University’s Green Office Program, we have a concrete set of goals to reduce our carbon footprint, reduce our use of resources, and increase our recycling efforts. This is accomplished by working directly with American University’s Office of Sustainability and informing staff and students on sustainable office practices.
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Senior Policy Counsel Zoë Root published an article in Court Manager magazine about the state of public defense in the US, the Right to Counsel National Campaign, and how court managers can ensure the fair administration of justice.