What We Do
NCJA as a Convener
NCJA members understand that state, county, and tribal criminal justice agencies and activities are interrelated. Crime prevention and suppression programs will only be fully effective when all parts of the criminal justice system are operating seamlessly and in balance. For instance, law enforcement can only be effective when the court and correctional agencies can effectively process criminal cases, and recidivism can only be reduced if support service agencies work together to address offender and community needs. With the goal of bringing balance to state and local criminal justice systems, NCJA regularly convenes policymakers, practitioners, experts and advocates to discuss issues of common interest and concern. To do this, NCJA:
- Builds professional development for members and other practitioners through:
- The annual National Forum on Criminal Justice and Public Safety sponsored by NCJA, the Bureau of Justice Assistance, and the IJIS Institute
- Leadership and presentation skills workshops
- Webinars on federal assistance, grants management and other topics of interest
- Holds regional seminars on current topics, most recently on the use of evidence based approaches in criminal justice planning
- Hosts issue-specific working groups and focus groups to share ideas and develop policy positions
- Convenes the many allied professional organizations in Washington, DC for education and networking, including the:
- Criminal Justice Policy Forum of representatives from criminal justice stakeholder groups which meets quarterly to discuss emerging policy issues in-depth
- The “Brown Baggers,” a group of government affairs specialists who meet monthly to discuss legislative matters
- The Executive Directors Roundtable, made up of stakeholder groups, which meets periodically to share issues of common concern
- The Justice Information Sharing Practitioners (JISP), a virtual network of public safety technology specialists
- Provides logistical and administrative support to related organizations including: in-house electronic registration management; event-specific website design and management; speaker recruitment and support; site selection; meeting support and facility management; preparation of workshop materials; and, accounting and financial management.
NCJA as an Educator
NCJA works to promote the adoption of, and investment in, evidence-based and research-supported criminal justice policies and programming. To help our members share knowledge, exchange best practices, and stay informed on local, regional and national trends, NCJA:
- Builds relationships with criminal justice opinion leaders, national organizations, researchers and leading practitioners to help members stay connected to and informed about the latest research.
- Writes a monthly “Promising Practices” series highlighting evidence-supported programs in policy areas across the criminal justice system.
- Conducts an ongoing series of webinars that brings together leading researchers, state criminal justice officials and other experts to focus on:
- Local and national criminal justice trends;
- Evaluation and implementation of evidence based programming; and
- Connecting SAAs with experts from across the justice community.
- Hosts regional and national meetings to share best practices on funding, evaluation and program selection.
- Collects and analyzes data on how states invest Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne JAG) funds.
- Provides training and technical assistance on inclusive, community-based, stakeholder-driven, statewide strategic planning development and processes.
- Facilitates peer-to-peer education by sending experts from the field as well as former SAAs to deliver direct consultation to current SAAs, their staff, and boards, councils or commissions.
- Launched, in partnership with the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the National Center for Justice Planning (NCJP) website which:
- Promotes evidence based programming and strategic planning;
- Serves as a repository for current research, evaluation and promising practices; and
- Compiles information on SAAs’ programs, operations, and structure.
NCJA as Peer-to-Peer Exchange
NCJA recognizes the importance of peer-to-peer learning among NCJA members and with other criminal and juvenile justice practitioners. NCJA provides a forum for SAAs to learn from each other about national and state criminal justice policies and developments, as well as program management and evaluation, evidence based practices, performance measurement, and statewide stakeholder-driven strategic planning. To do this, NCJA:
- Convenes its Advisory Council twice annually to discuss association business, emerging policy issues, and other topics of concern to criminal justice policy makers and practitioners.
- Conducts in-state and regional training for SAAs and their governing boards on building an effective and inclusive statewide strategic plan for the use of criminal justice resources.
- Convenes periodic regional meetings on specific policy and management topics.
- Surveys SAAs periodically on operational and programmatic matters.
- Gathers and disseminates data on how SAAs are deploying federal resources to prevent and fight crime.
- Hosts the annual National Forum on Criminal Justice and Public Safety for members and other experts to learn from each other and share best practices.
- Facilitates communication between the SAAs and federal agencies on grant management and emerging policy priorities and issues.
- Provides training for new SAAs on federal grant programs, processes, strategic planning, and evidence based practices and evaluation.