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Prosecutors, judges, and court personnel are faced with increasing challenges to find approaches that will help them not only clear cases and decrease dockets but also focus more on tailoring services to lower recidivism. In addition, they face these challenges with limited resources. Throughout the country, experts find that crimes involving gun violence, mentally ill and disabled populations, and drug users require special efforts. These efforts help ensure accountability on the part of the offenders while also ensuring that offenders return to the community with the services and supervision they need to help them stop their negative behavior. Although the methods chosen to meet these needs are unique to local court personnel, OJP is committed to providing the resources, tools, and support needed to help them test their ideas.

Several OJP bureaus provide programming and research support to address court-related issues:
  • The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) administers programming designed to assist prosecutors in several ways, including enhancing their ability to address gun crimes. BJA also provides assistance to adult drug courts and mental health courts across the country.
  • The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention contributes to the reduction of youth crime and violence through its support of juvenile and family drug courts.
  • The National Institute of Justice sponsors criminal court research and court-based program evaluation to identify tools, programs, and policies that satisfy criminal justice goals including public safety, cost-efficiency, and fair and equitable treatment of victims and defendants. Visit's Courts topic page.

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