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National Training and Technical Assistance: Smarter Sentencing to Reduce Recidivism

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2012, $250,000)

The Ensuring Procedural Justice Throughout the Adjudication Process: Pretrial Reform, High Performance Prosecution, and Smarter Sentencing Practices Program is funded under the Edward Byrne Memorial Competitive Grant Program (Byrne Competitive Program) and the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program. Authorized by Pub. L. No.112-55, 125 Stat. 552, 615, the Byrne Competitive Program 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 FY 2012 program will focus on funding efforts in three major categories.

The National Center for State Courts (NCSC) will use the grant funds to increase awareness and understanding of the research that supports successful offender rehabilitative efforts and foster the implementation of smarter sentencing practices. The objectives of the project are to update existing training materials with the most current information regarding evidence-based sentencing (EBS) practices, educate judge-led stakeholder teams in state and local jurisdictions and representatives from tribal courts on EBS, and foster implementation of smarter sentencing practices through technical assistance. NCSC will establish a multi-disciplinary practitioner team to review and update a model curriculum on EBS prepared in 2009. The updated curriculum will serve as a primary component of three intensive training workshops in which 4-person teams (i.e., judge, prosecutor, defender, and probation officer) and 12 representatives from tribal courts learn how to apply EBS practices and agree on an action plan for implementation in their home jurisdictions. Following the training, workshop participants will participate in teleconferences with practitioners from jurisdictions that use an EBS approach to discuss implementation issues and strategies. NCSC will also follow-up individually with the judge of each team to determine the status of the team's action plan and whether additional assistance is needed to advance implementation. Furthermore, NCSC will prepare summaries of the teleconferences and post on the NCSC's Center for Sentencing Initiatives Website for greater dissemination.


Date Created: August 20, 2012