States, tribes, and local units of government are embracing a comprehensive, community-based approach to criminal justice planning and are adopting evidence based policies and practices to empower criminal justice officials and community members in their fight against crime. This planning model promotes collaboration among state, tribal and local government agencies and among community members and neighborhood institutions. The state criminal justice administering agency (SAA) relinquishes its traditional agenda-setting capacity and provides support to community coalitions through leadership, training and technical assistance, and financial resources. This model may also involve the SAA coordinating various funding streams – federal, state, tribal, local, and private – to channel resources to meet the diverse needs of communities. In jurisdictions where this type of planning is occurring there is evidence that struggling communities are able to form important partnerships between agencies and institutions whose activities have been traditionally isolated.
The National Center for Justice Planning (NCJP), a cooperative effort between the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) U.S. Department of Justice and the National Criminal Justice Association (NCJA) will support state, tribal, and local efforts to institutionalize comprehensive approaches to community-based strategic planning for justice. Working with jurisdictions that have sustained this approach and providing technical assistance to jurisdictions that are changing their planning strategies, the NCJP will establish comprehensive community-based strategic planning as a recognizable practice within the justice system. In addition to hands-on involvement with state, tribal and local governments and agencies, the NCJP will:
♦ Identify and provide access to resources (human, print, and electronic) related to strategic planning in general and the application of strategic planning principles by state, tribal and local criminal justice practitioners.
♦ Identify and describe policies and practices proven to be effective based on evidence and replication.
♦ Provide a forum for the exchange of information, ideas, and initiatives for the improvement of justice nationwide.
The NCJP is a unique resource for planners at all levels of government and in all agencies and organizations responsible for developing strategies for delivering justice. Building on the knowledge and expertise of practitioners who are working to build communities through effective justice, the NCJP serves as the catalyst for transforming the practice of justice planning.