Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Training and Technical Assistance
The Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Training and Technical Assistance Program supports data-driven, comprehensive, and community-oriented strategies to reduce crime and spur revitalization.
Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program
The Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation (BCJI) Program is part of the Innovation Suite of research-driven programs at the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The program is designed to meet the unique needs of communities large and small with persistent crime problems. By focusing on concentrated hot spots of crime within communities, the BCJI Program directly supports the Department of Justice's priorities to reduce violent crime, dismantle gang activity, assist communities struggling with drug abuse, and support law enforcement agencies by integrating enforcement strategies into community-based crime reduction efforts.
The BCJI model is based on the principle that sustainable reductions in violent crime require collaboration among partners in the criminal justice system, service providers, and the communities they serve. Since 2012, the program has provided millions of federal dollars to almost 100 sites to bring together diverse local partners including law enforcement, prosecutors, researchers, municipal governments, service providers, community developers, and residents.
The IACP, working with the University of Cincinnati and University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and supported by BJA, provides training and technical assistance (TTA) for the BCJI sites. The IACP promotes collaboration for local BCJI sites between community stakeholders and law enforcement with the goal of identifying and reducing hot spot areas of criminal activity.
BCJI Program Model
BCJI provides a comprehensive approach to addressing the causes of crime and implementing sustainable changes as part of a larger crime reduction or revitalization strategy. BCJI sites target a specific geographic area within their communities known for high levels of serious and violent crime. Efforts to reduce crime are focused on where the crime is concentrated and rooted in broader revitalization strategies in order to most effectively direct resources and positively influence factors such as the concentration of high-risk residents, limited infrastructure, and the community's physical characteristics.
Building Trust, Partnerships, and Capacity
In order to implement BCJI successfully, sites take a comprehensive approach that targets hot spots and larger community challenges, which requires a strong set of partners and trust between them and the residents. Developing the capabilities of a cross-sector partnership, as well as the community, should be a key strategy of organizations pursuing comprehensive crime control and revitalization.
In order to guide their program strategies, BCJI sites are strongly encouraged to work with local law enforcement and community stakeholders to conduct a broad examination of crime drivers in the target areas and consider appropriate innovative, data-driven strategies to address them. Collaborative local partnerships can help communities assess program implementation and intended program impacts, as well as identify gaps in services, strategies, and partners. Law enforcement agencies are required as the BCJI lead or partner for crime hot spot analysis to inform the strategies.
To catalyze and sustain change, there must be active involvement and leadership by neighborhood residents, community organizations, and community leaders in engaging criminal justice partners, including law enforcement, throughout the revitalization process.
Below are resources that can help current and future BCJI sites identify the programmatic requirements to successfully implement crime reduction strategies in their communities.
The IACP has created a fact sheet that outlines the four core elements of the program and the areas where IACP can provide technical assistance to sites. Download it below.
BCJI Competitive Grant Announcements
The BCJI program promotes the integration of data-driven, place-based, comprehensive, and community-oriented strategies to reduce crime and revitalize communities. Applicants should consider Department of Justice priorities, including reducing gun violence, dismantling gang activity, and strengthening local capacity to combat drug abuse. Applicants should also consider targeting areas where crime is disproportionately concentrated. This multifaceted approach addresses the root causes of crime to promote long-term, sustainable change.
Click here to access the FY2021 BCJI solicitation. The deadline for applications is April 12, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. EST.
Previous BCJI Solicitations
BCJI Project Resources
As part of the BCJI Program, sites are required to develop an action plan that describes the strategies they will take that align with the core elements of BCJI. Below are resources that can assist with formulating an action plan based on the work that took place during the planning phase.
- BCJI Action Plan Guidance Document
- BCJI Action Plan Guidance Webinar (9/19/2019)
- BCJI Grantee Project Timeline
In order to enhance the four pillars of BCJI, the IACP facilitated several webinars around topics such as implementation science, violence reduction in hot spots, and Action Plan guidance.
Implementation Plan Guidance Webinar (9/19/2019): The IACP, in partnership with the Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice, hosted the this webinar with important information about creating and submitting implementation plans. The objectives of the Implementation Plan Guidance Webinar were to discuss the Implementation Plan Guidance Document; identify the steps for submitting an implementation plan; explain the implementation plan approval process; and answer questions regarding the implementation plan process. Click here to access the slides from this webinar.
You Can't Read the Label from Inside the Jar - 10 Disruptive Truth Bombs About Criminology, Implementation Science, and Real-World Organizational Change (10/7/2019): Dr. Glenn Tapia provides the 'real talk' necessary to think critically about the truths, lies, twists, and real-world trials about criminology, implementation science, and organizational change. Attendees will learn to think beyond the conventional norms about how to effect real organizational change. Attendees will also be given basic introduction to the 10 Essential Principles for Implementation Leadership, which are practically derived and scientifically supported approaches to leading real-world change in criminal justice settings. Click here to access the slides from the webinar.
Deterring and Reducing Opportunities for Violence in Hot Spots (10/24/2019): Dr. Tamara Herold, a crime scientist from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, discusses how BCJI sites can work with their partners to 1) describe or define their BCJI violent hot spot area; 2) explore evidence-based strategies that could be used to reduce violence in the community based on the hot spot definition; and 3) explore a newly developed strategy called "place network investigations" that can help sites generate long-term, sustainable violence reduction in the BCJI sites. Click here to access the slides from the webinar.
Innovative Community Engagement Strategies for Community-Based Crime Reduction (5/7/2020): In this webinar, Aqeela Sherrills, a senior project manager at the Alliance for Safety and Justice and a consultant for the IACP, discussed innovative community engagement strategies based on his breadth of experience implementing community-based violence reduction strategies and his critical role in developing the successful Newark Community Street Team. Aqeela provided participants with a brief history and overview of community-based violence reduction efforts, as well as the innovative techniques utilized by the Newark Community Street Team, with a particular focus on how to reach communities in the time of COVID-19 and stay-at-home orders. Click here to access the slides from the webinar.
Principled Policing - Procedural Justice and Implicit Bias (6/11/2020): The BCJI webinar series continues with "Principled Policing: Procedural Justice and Implicit Bias," presented by Captain Scott Meadors (retired) from the Stockton, California, Police Department. In this webinar, Captain Meadors discusses the four tenets of procedural justice: police legitimacy and community trust, focused intervention work, officer wellness, and implicit bias. He also covers implicit bias's impact on behavior. Click here to access the slides from the webinar.
Diagnosing and Addressing Criminal Justice Culture for the Purpose of Change and Implementation (7/9/2020): In this webinar, Glenn A. Tapia, Director of Leadership and Organizational Intelligence at the Alliance for Community and Justice Innovation, discusses how BCJI sites can utilize the IDEATE™ framework to change their team's culture to focus on implementation. Click here to access the slides from the webinar.
How to Get the Most Out of Your Data-Sharing Partnerships (8/7/2020): The August 2020 edition of the BCJI webinar series features Dr. Robin Engel, Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Cincinnati (UC), Director of the IACP/UC Center for Police Research and Policy, and consultant with the BCJI project for the IACP. Dr. Engel reviews how BCJI sites can get the most out of their data-sharing partnerships and how practitioners can use data to promote long-term project sustainability. Click here to access the slides from the webinar.
Designing Out Crime and Creating Safe Spaces (9/18/2020): This BCJI webinar features the IACP's training and technical assistance partner, Dr. Tamara Herold, Associate Professor and Graduate Director in the Department of Criminal Justice at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Dr. Herold explains how the built environment and place management practices can reduce crime opportunities and identify common conditions of criminogenic places. Dr. Herold also outlines several techniques that BCJI sites can use to reduce crime and offers resources to help sites conduct place assessments and place-based interventions. Click here to access the slides from the webinar.
Mission Creep vs. Strategic Adaptations - BCJI (10/15/2020): In this webinar, Dr. Nicholas Corsaro, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at UC, Research Director at the IACP/UC Center for Police Research and Policy, and consultant on the BCJI Program, outlines how BCJI sites should consider going about their crime prevention mission based on process and impact assessments from other successful BCJI sites. Click here to access the slides from webinar.
Library of Resources
The Library of Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Resources is now live. This library is a searchable database of resources related to innovative community-based crime reduction strategies. Included are a variety of in-person and online trainings, webinars, tools, articles, publications, and other resources to better inform crime reduction efforts. Resources are of no- to low-cost to law enforcement, community-led organizations, and researchers. Though targeted for these groups, these resources may also benefit multidisciplinary partners. New resources are continuously being added to the library.
Click here to access the Library of BCJI Resources.
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For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-843-4227 ext. 323.
This project is supported by Cooperative Agreement No. 2018-BJ-BX-K035 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions contained herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice. References to specific agencies, companies, products, or services should not be considered an endorsement by the author(s) or the U.S. Department of Justice. Rather, the references are illustrations to supplement discussion of the issues.