The Status of Legislation Chart tracks bills moving through Congress that would impact state, local and tribal criminal justice policy. Organized by topic, the chart tracks appropriations bills and legislation on general justice assistance, victims' issues, juvenile delinquency and gang prevention, law enforcement, courts, sentencing and prison reform, corrections and reentry, and homeland security.
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On a daily basis, there is a critical need for justice agencies at all levels of government to gather, share and analyze information and communicate with each other seamlessly. However, often these agencies operate independently of one another, resulting in incomplete information, redundancies, errors and other inefficiencies, which hamper government’s ability to manage justice resources prudently, make good policy decisions and protect the public effectively. Therefore, agencies should adopt procedures and funding priorities that ensure a coordinated approach
Developmental differences between children and adults must be taken into account by the justice system, to minimize the prosecution of juveniles in the criminal justice system and the incarceration of juveniles in adult prisons.
The lack of appropriate and necessary treatment for those who suffer from mental illness represents a serious public health and public safety issue. Some individuals with mental illness and co-occurring disorders become a part of the criminal justice system, either as victims or as offenders. The system must address the challenges presented by these individuals, even though it is often ill equipped to provide adequate treatment because of lack of resources, lack of staff, legal constraints and infrastructure limitations. Identified advances include early identification and
Prisons and jails are a necessary part of our criminal justice system however overcrowded correctional facilities create significant safety issues within these institutions and limit the effectiveness of rehabilitation programming. State and local governments should seek to identify and implement ways to alleviate prison overcrowding with full knowledge of the costs of incarceration and its impact on public safety.
The American principles of equal protection and equal justice demand recognition that racial disparities exist throughout the criminal justice system. Minorities are overrepresented among victim and offender populations. Criminal justice professionals should support research and funding to address the root causes of these disparities and develop effective policies and best practices to counter these problems. Criminal justice professionals at all levels should strive to have the persons administering the system reflect the populations that they serve.
The State Administering Agency (SAA) is the executive branch agency designated by the Governor to accept federal criminal justice funds. As a result of this responsibility, these agencies serve as the primary coordinating body for state and local criminal justice issue identification, collaboration, planning, and policy development and implementation. Ideally the SAA should also assume strategic planning, training and information sharing responsibilities to assure that the agency functions as a single source for best practices and promising approaches. Leveraging public fu