Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $371,119)
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 National Judicial College will create a best practice model for handling mental competence issues in the criminal justice system. They will assemble a collaborative panel of multidisciplinary experts; visit jurisdictions with a successful model; and conduct extensive research and analysis to devise a best practices model. The National Judicial College will develop a best practice model that addresses the complex and challenging issues involving mental competence at the pretrial, trial, and post-trial stages of a criminal proceeding.