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Justice Trends & Promising Practices

NCJA strives to help Byrne JAG administrators and recipients and other justice stakeholders stay up-to-date with what’s happening and what’s working in criminal justice practice, policy and reform. This page contains resources describing ways that states and localities might invest Byrne JAG awards—both trending topics and programs that have shown promise.  


The content and links below are organized along the nine Byrne JAG purpose areas across which funds may be invested, as defined by the legislation that codifies the program. They encompass nearly every aspect of justice system operation, making Bryne JAG an extremely flexible program.  

This page will grow and change as we add more resources!  

Spending Purpose Areas

Byrne JAG Purpose Areas FY18 Investments - See how states and territories invested Byrne JAG funding across all purpose areas in 2018. 

Planning, Evaluation and Technology Improvement 

Do you fund, operate or know of a Promising Practice we should highlight? Reach out to us at

Innovation Labs

NCJA’s Innovation Labs bring together state administering agency (SAA) staff and stakeholders from across the country to brainstorm solutions to common challenges, discuss promising practices and develop recommendations.

This lab provided working sessions for discussing resource development, best and promising practices, and program implementation to identify ways for SAAs to diversify where they allocated their spending and strategies for working with subawardees to ensure all sectors of the criminal justice system are represented.

This lab provided working sessions for discussing resource development, best and promising practices, and program implementation to improve data sharing and increase understanding of and ability to meet federal reporting requirements in participants’ states.

Episode 19: New York's Project Rise with Joseph Popcun

In this episode, Joseph Popcun, Executive Deputy Commissioner at the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services discusses the state of New York’s new violence reduction initiative Project Rise: Respond, Invest, Sustain and Empower.

Project Rise is a $28 million statewide community violence prevention and community empowerment program to reach the people and places most impacted by the increase in pandemic-era violence. A unique program and funding model, Project Rise brings together community stakeholders to respond to gun violence, invest in solutions, sustain positive programming, and empower communities. Project RISE is meant to be a “grassroots” or “bottom-up” strategy to listen, learn from, and lift up the communities by directing resources where they are most needed.

To provide context, this episode also discusses the history of violence prevention and reduction efforts in New York as well as how Project Rise fits into the larger scope of work to help communities build capacity to implement and sustain programming to address the underlying factors contributing to violence in the community and enhance responses to violence within the community through increased community partnerships and programming with a healing and equity lens.

Read the full transcript

Episode 18: Trauma Recovery Centers: A Comprehensive Response for Victims of Violent Crime 

In this episode, NCJA Program Manager Gillian Caplan speaks with Shakyra Diaz, Chief of Federal Advocacy for the Alliance for Safety and Justice and Stephen Massey, Director of the CitiLookout Trauma Recovery Center in Springfield, Ohio about the innovative and life-changing work of Trauma Recovery Centers and how they are providing critical resources to victims of violent crime. 


Trauma Recovery Centers (TRCs) are a transformational model of care for survivors of violent crime that removes barriers to health and stability in order to heal communities as well as interrupt cycles of violence and connect underserved and vulnerable populations to needed services and resources quickly and efficiently. The TRC model is specifically designed to reach those who have fallen through the cracks of traditional support services.

By the spring of 2020, 35 TRCs were implemented nationwide from California to Georgia and this episode discusses the different components and strategies to building the centers to better support victims of violent crime.

Read the full transcript

Episode 15: An Overview of Pretrial Justice Programs with Spike Bradford

In this episode, NCJA Program Manager Simone Greene speaks with Spike Bradford, also a former program manager at NCJA, subject matter expertise in pretrial justice. Spike provides an overview of some of the most impactful pretrial justice program types, all of which can be funded, in whole or part, with Byrne JAG dollars.


The pretrial stage of the criminal justice process is critical because decisions about arrest, diversion, detention and more, have lasting impacts on each case and on each accused individual. Effective pretrial justice programs can help jurisdictions make more informed decisions that reduce costs and strain on their justice systems while increasing fairness and equity for accused individuals.


Organizations and initiatives referenced in this episode include Law Enforcement-Assisted DiversionAdvancing Pretrial Policy & Research, the National Association of Pretrial Services Agencies and the National Legal Aid & Defenders Association.

Read the full transcript

Episode 14: The Tennessee Family Justice Center (FJC) Statewide Initiative with Daina Moran and Heather Brack

In this episode, NCJA Program Manager Gillian Caplan speaks with Daina Moran, deputy director of Tennessee’s Office of Criminal Justice Programs, the state administering agency for Tennessee, and Heather Brack, NCJA’s Grants Accounting Manager and former Program Director of the Johnson City/Washington County (TN) FJC about the FJC programs in their state.

FJCs are multiagency, multidisciplinary centers where staff from public and private agencies provide services to victims at a single location. This reduces the number of times victims must tell their story, reduces the number of places victims must go for help, and increases access to services and support for victims, their children and families.

With the initial three years of programming funded through Byrne JAG awards, Tennessee has successfully launched 13 FJCs across the state since 2012.


Read the full transcript

This webpage was created with the support of Grant No. 2019-YA-BX-K002 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the SMART Office, and the Office for Victims of Crime. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice. 

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