Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2011, $349,975)
The National Initiatives: Improving Criminal Courts Program is funded under the Edward Byrne Memorial Competitive Grant Program (Byrne Competitive Program), the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program, and the Adult Drug Court Discretionary Grant Program. Authorized by Pub. L. No. 112-10, div. B, secs. 1101-1104 and (Pub. L. No. 111-117, 123 Stat. 3034, 3134, the Byrne Competitive Program, among other purposes, helps communities improve the functioning and capacity of state and local criminal justice systems and provides for national support efforts including training and technical assistance programs strategically targeted to address local needs.
The National Initiatives: Improving Criminal Courts Program, administered by the Office of Justice Programs' Bureau of Justice Assistance, helps improve criminal justice systems. This program supports funding for national, state, local, and tribal programs/efforts, such as training and technical assistance, to address the needs of state and local justice systems and communities. The FY 2011 program will focus on funding efforts in five major categories.
The National Center for State Courts (NCSC) will assist criminal courts and related agencies at the state and local level to improve the efficiency and quality of the judicial system's capacity to respond to increases in the volume and/or complexity of criminal caseloads. Special emphasis will be placed on addressing violent crime and gang activity. The goal will be achieved through three broad objectives: 1. identify critical needs in criminal court adjudication which will serve as the basis for the training and technical assistance program; 2. deliver targeted training and technical assistance to a variety of criminal courts and justice agencies and; 3. produce and disseminate resource publications and facilitate peer networking. Specifically, the NCSC project team will conduct a survey, peer networking and a focus group to identify critical needs and shape the technical assistance and training protocol. The team will provide at least 20 technical assistance or training interventions. A second focus group will be utilized to plan the publications. NCSC will utilize its broad association contacts and website to communicate the project activities, opportunities, resources and lessons learned throughout the project.