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An Open and Accessible OJP
March 16, 2012 Posted by

The following post appears courtesy of Mary Lou Leary, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs

The Office of Justice Programs (OJP) is committed to providing timely and accurate information about OJP’s policies, programs, activities and procedures to a wide public audience – organizations and individuals.   Highlighting a few of these efforts during this year’s Sunshine Week gives us an opportunity to share our work with those new to our efforts and to encourage those familiar with OJP resources to use them in new ways.

In our support of state, local and tribal partners we are mindful of our responsibilities as stewards of federal funds.  We must ensure that the process for soliciting and awarding grants is transparent and fair.  Solicitations are posted for 45 days on both the OJP website and on Grants.gov. and provide clear descriptions of purpose, eligibility and evaluation criteria.  A peer review process is structured to reduce bias and help ensure objectivity. OJP’s Office of Audit Assessment and Management and Office of the Chief Financial Officer provide rigorous oversight of all grant-making activities.

Award announcements are posted on ojp.gov along with the names of grant recipients. We work closely with grantees to help them meet their responsibilities. We provide training and technical assistance on the proper use and reporting of grant funds, reflecting the importance of supporting our partners in the field.

As we continue our support to state, local and tribal partners, we strive to develop innovative ways of allowing them to access information directly.  One example is CrimeSolutions.gov., an online resource for practitioners about effective programs in criminal justice, juvenile justice, and crime victim services. The site provides detailed information on more than 170 programs, with three rating categories – “effective,” “promising,” and showing “no effects.”  Programs can be searched by keyword, topic or advanced search.  Or, it is easy to browse all programs.

In the near future, OJP will launch a new resource called the OJP Diagnostic Center. This will be a “one-stop” crime consultation service to state, local, and tribal policymakers, who are looking to identify and implement evidence-based public safety strategies.  It will help assess community strengths and challenges and match those with evidence-based interventions. With this tool, we’re trying to address large, strategic challenges that can really make a long-term difference in communities.  The Diagnostic Center has the potential to be a transformative tool for communities in addressing their public safety challenges.

OJP will continue to provide updated information and resources for those interested in our grants, programs or initiatives, and I encourage frequent visits to our website at www.ojp.gov.

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