Our Thoughts on Public Defense
Public defenders are heroes.  

That message rang loud and clear throughout the third annual  Smart on Crime Innovations Conference . From opening remarks by John Jay College of Criminal Justice President  Karol Mason  who explicitly highlighted defenders as criminal justice reform leaders to the plenary session on day two when Mark Holden and Justice Programs Office Director  Kim Ball  had a passionate  conversation  about why the Sixth Amendment matters. 
Join Our Watch Party
On the Ecologies of Violence in America
The Justice Programs Office (JPO) at American University is participating in The Roundtable on the Future of Justice Policy, Examining Violence in the United States: Implication for Justice Policy and Practice, a Square One Project .  

We will host a watch party on October 11 in American University’s Spring Valley Building, room 320 from 9:00 – 11:30 a.m. , and Director Kim Ball will lead a conversation on the most extreme form of violence: homicide. How do neighborhood environments enable violence? How do they constrain violence? What strategies are there for community investment and neighborhood revitalization?   

All are encouraged to join this free discussion and Q&A. Can’t make it?  Watch the livestream
Improve the Quality and Effectiveness of Government Programs with Legal Aid
The  Justice in Government Project  (JGP) has added three new resources to their  Toolkit  to help policymakers, government leaders, grant administrators, service providers, and other advocates improve the quality and effectiveness of government programs with legal aid: 
  • The Grant Forecasting Guide, co-created by JGP and NLADA, helps users find forecasted federal grants and related information about prospective funding opportunities. 

  • The Funding By Issue Cheat Sheet provides a birds-eye view of the populations served and issues commonly addressed by legal aid providers and the non-exhaustive list of state-administered federal funds that can support this work.
  • The Grants Matrix At-A-Glance provides a list of state-administered federal funds that can be or have been leveraged to support legal aid, information on whether they contain express language regarding legal aid, and examples of projects they’ve funded. 

For more information on these resources and the Toolkit, contact JGP Director Karen Lash at  klash@american.edu
America Working Forward: Hidden Workforce
In partnership with the Justice Programs Office at American University (AU) and the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation , The Sine Institute of Policy & Politics  at AU will host a special edition of America Working Forward:  Hidden Workforce.

Join us on  Wednesday, October 16  to explore programs that offer incarcerated individuals and individuals with a criminal record pathways to re-enter America’s workforce and training facilities. 

This event is located at Malsi Doyle and Michael Forman Theater (McKinley Building) and begins at  6:30 p.m.  Reservations are encouraged.  
Drug Court Review II Coming Soon
The next issue of  The Drug Court Review  focuses on innovative approaches for the Treatment Court Field. It offers a collection of papers that address innovation, program implementation, and evaluation in treatment courts. It explores the gap between innovation and evaluation in treatment courts, the challenge when programs or practices exist before they can be evaluated, and the important need to evaluate innovations to determine program validity.
In her foreword, JPO Director Kim Ball says: “In reviewing this issue, I kept thinking of JPO’s tagline: “From Research to Policy to Practice to People.” For me, leading with research and ending with people is at the heart of what we do. When we leverage research-driven innovation to improve process and bring humanity back into the system, then I know we are on the path to success.”  Read our previous issue.