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Public Defender's Office Holistic Community-Oriented Advocacy Project

Award Information

Award #
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $250,000)

This program is funded under both the Edward Byrne Memorial Competitive Grant Program (Byrne Competitive Program) and the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program. Authorized by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2009 (Pub. L. 111-8), the Byrne Competitive Program helps local communities improve the capacity of state and local justice systems and provides for national support efforts including training and technical assistance programs strategically targeted to address local needs. The JAG Program (42 U.S.C. 3751) is the primary provider of federal criminal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions, and JAG funds support all components of the criminal justice system. The JAG Program authorization also states that "the Attorney General may reserve not more than 5 percent, to be granted to 1 or more States or units of local government, for 1 or more of the purposes specified in section 3751 of this title, pursuant to his determination that the same is necessary-(1) to combat, address, or otherwise respond to precipitous or extraordinary increases in crime, or in a type or types of crime" (42 U.S.C. 3756).

The National Initiative: Encouraging Innovation: Field-Initiated Programs is designed to strengthen the criminal justice system by challenging those in the field to identify and define emerging or chronic systemic issues faced by one or more components of the criminal justice continuum (includes but not limited to law enforcement, corrections, courts, and community collaborations) and to propose innovative solutions to address these issues.

The Bronx Defenders, in partnership with John Jay College of Criminal Justice, will build and disseminate the resources that will support the use of the holistic, community-oriented advocacy model in public defender offices nationally. Built as a continuum of holistic advocacy, the Bronx Defenders will not only define the principles of holistic advocacy but the mechanisms for realizing those principles in practice across varied systems, jurisdictions, and client demographics ' the kind of practitioner-based guidance that has been so lacking. They will implement an interactive, web-based tool that educates the end user about the principles of holistic advocacy, how they might be realized in different settings, and where the public defender system stands in its development toward this holistic advocacy standard ' a critical tool needed for assessment and technical assistance. They will address the lack of clear guidelines defining the practice and expected outcomes of evidence-based holistic, community-oriented advocacy.


Date Created: September 17, 2009