The Encouraging Innovation: Field Initiated Program seeks to prevent and reduce crime and enhance the criminal justice system through innovative approaches that accelerate justice by identifying, defining, and responding to emerging or chronic crime problems and systemic issues using innovative approaches.
The program supports strategies to address these issues, including trying new approaches, addressing gaps in responses, building or translating research knowledge, or building capacity. It furthers the Department of Justice's mission by providing resources to support state, local, tribal, and territorial efforts to reimagine their approaches and strategies to enhance fairness and access to justice; prevent and reduce crime, including violent crime; prevent and respond to overdoses; support crime victims; improve relationships and build trust between communities and the justice system; increase access to justice and supportive services; and advance innovative improvements within the justice system.
Since 2009, the Bureau of Justice Assistance has supported a small number of Field-Initiated projects that bring fresh perspectives for reducing and preventing crime at the local, state, tribal, and national levels. The projects target crime problems facing communities nationwide by addressing critical gaps in the current knowledge base around crime prevention and criminal justice. Through resources developed by Field-Initiated grantees, jurisdictions across the country can benefit from the projects' contributions to the field of public safety.
Examples of projects funded under the Field-Initiated Program include:
- Intelligence-Led Policing Program – the Phoenix, Arizona Police Department is expanding their Intelligence Officer program to more effectively integrate intelligence gathering and analysis into patrol operations. Through this program, Intelligence Officers are trained to assist patrol officers in identifying suspects, closing cases expeditiously, and addressing crime proactively in chronic problem locations.
- Reducing Officer Injury Project – the International Association of Chiefs of Police's project is focused on improving officer safety by helping law enforcement agencies recognize and respond to officer injury vulnerabilities. Based on a national study of the causes and magnitude of officer injuries, IACP is developing and disseminating practical resources to help law enforcement agencies prevent officer injuries.
- Arrest Alert System for Prosecutors – the New York County District Attorney's Office (DANY) refined its intelligence-driven prosecution model, which uses an arrest alert system to notify prosecutors of high-priority arrests within their jurisdiction, including those involving the relatively few individuals driving a high percentage of crime. In partnership with the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys and Center for Court Innovation, DANY documented the impact of the model and created resources for replication in other jurisdictions.
- Law Enforcement Executive Policy (LEEP) Program— led by the Institute for Intergovernmental Research, the LEEP Program convenes a group of law enforcement executives from across the nation to discuss emerging issues and national trends and proactively identify strategies and policies to help officers perform effectively in the future.
- IACP Center for Social Media – the International Association of Chiefs of Police developed the Center for Social Media as a resource to help law enforcement agencies use social media to prevent and solve crimes, strengthen police-community relations, and enhance services.