The mission of the Justice Programs Office (JPO) is to apply the tools of scholarship, and professionalism, and "best practices" to the design and management of public programs, with particular attention to policy development and the administration of justice at the local, state, a federal levels of government. To carry out this mission, the JPO engages in training, technical assistance and research programs and provides information and publication dissemination services to government officials and the public at large. Download Brochure
All of the JPO's activities are designed to strengthen awareness of:
In carrying out its mission, the JPO - its faculty, staff, senior fellows, wand consultants - are pledged to exemplify the values of competence, integrity, and objectivity as representatives of American University and of the agencies and organizations it serves.
- public accountability of government agencies and officials;
- the ethical responsibilities and standards of performance of government employees;
- the obligation of citizens for responsible critique and constructive reform of public institutions; and
- the cultural and historical foundations of the role of courts in a democratic society.
The SPA Justice Programs Office has a core interdisciplinary team of faculty, staff and Senior Fellows, augmented by senior practitioner-experts from throughout the U.S. who serve in a consultant capacity. This cadre is supplemented by American University faculty in the fields of law, public affairs, international service, economics, business administration, and the social and behavioral sciences. The Justice Programs Office has access to all the unique domestic and international information resources in the Washington, D.C. area and the on-campus and off-campus training, research, information, computer, telecommunications, and distance learning facilities of American University.
The Justice Programs Office maintains collaborative relationships with most U.S. based national organizations and associations representing the legal, law enforcement, corrections, prosecution, defense services, and judicial professions. All JPO projects are undertaken with reference to relevant ethical standards of performance and best practices.
RANGE OF SERVICES
- short- and long-term technical assistance to government and community agencies
- development of collaborative, interagency justice system improvement programs
- training and other professional development services
- security audits of justice system facilities
- evaluation of public programs
- on-site problem analysis/assessment
- documentation of existing program policies, resources, and procedures
The Justice Programs Office has conducted over 1,500 technical assistance, research, training, and evaluation projects for:
Local and State Governments
- improvement of criminal and civil judicial process and dispute resolution alternatives
- efficient utilization of justice system and human services resources
- formulation of orderly processes for policy and programmatic change
- improvement of interagency and community relations
- training programs for judges, prosecutors, public defenders, and general government elected officials
- planning and assessment of correctional options/intermediate sanctions and other alternative disposition programs
- facility planning and security audits/improvement programs
International Organizations and Agencies
- assessment of national drug abuse control strategies
- federal/state relations regarding:
(a) justice system resource allocation and
(b) cooperative law enforcement and prosecution efforts
- national technical assistance and training programs to support state and local justice system improvement
- U.S. justice system seminars for official foreign visitors to the U.S.
- comparative justice system analyses and documentation
- international seminars, workshops, and conferences
- information and technology transfer
- U.S. liaison for the Moscow Research Center for Human Rights
- Multi-disciplinary approach to all undertakings
- Promotion of interagency communication and coordination
- Institutional independence and objectivity in problem analysis
- Incorporation of the most qualified academic and practitioner expertise for each project
- Extensive experience in and familiarity with state and local justice system operations
- Emphasis on cost-effective, pragmatic solutions to problems
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