2018 Conference Agenda

Below is the preliminary conference agenda. Speakers and descriptions will be posted as sessions are finalized. A final program will be available to print from the website prior to the conference. Abridged copies of the agenda will be distributed onsite.

Pre- and post-conference sessions. The NCJA will be hosting a Grants Management Training Day on Sunday, July 22 and two post-conference sessions on Wednesday, July 25. Registration for these sessions is separate from the Forum; you do not need to register for the Forum to attend these sessions. Details about these sessions will be posted soon to the website.

Sunday, July 22

8:30 AM - 2:30 PM

Pre-Conference Session: NCJA Grants Management Training

Click here to register and view the session agenda. Registration for this session is separate from the National Forum. The cost to attend is $250 before June 1 and $300 per person on or after this date. Lunch will be provided.

2:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Forum registration opens

5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

Exhibit hall opens

4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Welcoming Remarks and Opening Keynote: The Texas Criminal Justice Reform Experience

6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Welcome Reception

Monday, July 23

7:30 AM - 8:30 AM

Regional Breakfasts

7:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Exhibit hall opens

8:30 AM - 8:45 AM


8:45 AM - 9:00 AM

Welcoming remarks presented by the Acting Assistant Attorney General

9:00 AM - 9:45 AM

Morning Keynote: The Crisis of the Mentally Ill in the Criminal Justice System

We know the statistics about individuals with mental illness sent to jail when what they really need is appropriate, quality treatment. The problem is only made more complex by the cost of comprehensive treatment, the bridge needed between the justice and health systems, and urgency of coordinated planning between state and local governments. The presenter is a visionary and pioneer in finding solutions for justice-involved individuals with mental health disorders. This information and engaging presentation will frame the issues that the following two panels will discuss in more depth.

9:45 AM - 10:45 AM

First Plenary Panel: Coordinating Collaborative Responses to the Mentally Ill in the Justice System

This panel will explore new and innovative ways for state and local justice systems to reduce the number of people with mental illness entering the justice system and improving outcomes for those already there. Each of the presenters has a wealth of experience working with communities to improve outcomes and reduce costs. Participants will come away with practical advice for how state and local policymakers and practitioners can work together to solve one of the most important issues facing the justice system.

Presenters: Dr. Margie Balfour, VP for Clinical Innovation & Quality at Connections AZ; Maeghan Gilmore, Program Director, Health, Human Services and Justice, National Association of Counties.

10:45 AM - 11:00 AM


11:00 AM - 11:45 PM

Second Plenary Panel: The Sequential Intercept Model for Planning a Coordinated and Collaborative Justice and Mental Health System

One of the most challenging issues facing the justice system is the intersection between behavioral health and criminal justice. Navigating successfully requires coordinated planning and shared goals between levels of government and across government agencies. It also requires sharing of information in new and collaborative ways that meet the needs of the justice involved individuals, the agencies serving them, public safety of communities and that align with the protection of privacy governed by federal and state law and regulation. Put on your thinking cap because the presenters, skilled in collaborative planning, will walk audience members through an asset mapping and gap analysis tool, giving practical advice about the ingredients of successful partnerships and offering several examples of promising programs and interventions communities are using to divert individuals from the justice system and improve outcomes while incarcerated and upon return to the community.

11:45 PM - 12:00 PM


12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Luncheon Keynote: Hidden Crimes, Unexpected Victims

Technology is transforming all aspects of American life. Unfortunately it is also transforming crime in America too. While traditional crime rates are at historic lows, technology-driven crimes are thought to be on a steep rise. This trend is as fascinating as it is frightening. Jason Thomas writes and speaks about emerging technology, the dark web, data science, cryptocurrencies, identity, social data, and what governments need to do to prepare and respond.

1:30 PM - 1:45 PM


1:45 PM - 2:45 PM

Breakout Sessions (described below)

Collaborating for Implementation Success: Achieving Better Juvenile Outcomes from Data-Driven Legislation

In recent years, a number of states have adopted comprehensive, data-driven legislation designed to improve outcomes for youth and reinvest resources in the justice system into more effective, developmentally appropriate interventions for adolescents. Ensuring these policies achieve their intended objectives, however, requires effective and data-driven implementation. Leaders from Georgia, Kentucky and Utah will speak about the implementation successes and challenges they have experienced over the last few years.

Presenters: Pamela Vickrey, Executive Director, Utah Juvenile Defender Attorneys and Joe Vignati, Deputy Commissioner, Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice. Moderator: Pamela Lachman, Deputy Director of Juvenile Policy, Crime and Justice Institute (CJI) at Community Resources for Justice.

Obtaining a Foothold in Violent Crime: a Blueprint for Successfully Building Public Trust and Safety through the National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative

Since its launch in 2015, SAKI has been making a difference by improving the response to sexual assault by identifying and apprehending violent offenders and by addressing the problem of unsubmitted sexual assault kits. The impact of SAKI is being felt at the community level both in terms of getting dangerous offenders off the street and empowering victims to come forward. In sites such as Fayetteville (NC), victims are more confident to come forward and report to law enforcement because of the victim-centered outreach from the police department and their community partners. As many communities continue to experience high levels of violent crime, police departments have found that efforts to improve their response to sexual assaults has also aided in other crime reduction initiatives. This panel will discuss innovative ways to address violent crimes, conduct successful investigations and prosecutions, support victims within their community, improve the overall relationship with their community, and gain much needed recognition and support from legislators and key stakeholders.

Presenters: Brady Mills, Crime Laboratory Director, Texas Department of Public Safety

Improving Victim Notification through the Use of Standards

In 2014, the IJIS Institute enhanced for the Bureau of Justice Assistance the SAVIN Victim Notification Standard (V1.0 based on the lessons learned from implementations in 5 states. The purpose of the standard and subsequent enhancement was to broaden the occurrence of adoption and implementation of a victim notification service, to improve program capabilities for states through accountability and verification of data and to provide a standardized technical approach for state and local agencies responsible for notifying victims of changes in events/occurrences relative to the status of an offender. These events are then transmitted to a Victim Notification Provider or System, who, in turn, delivers a more accurate and timely automated notification to a victim.

Presenters will discuss why BJA develop the SAVIN standard; why other states are planning to adopt the Victim Notification Standard; and how using the standard would improve Victim Notification? Practitioners from implementing states will share their experience from implementing the standard and states planning to adopt the standards will discuss how and why they are trying to require adoption.
Presenters: Kathy Gattin, IJIS Institute; Heidi Smith, Savin Program Manager, ND Courts.

Grant Writing 201

Grant writing is a perpetually evolving process. This session will cover how to take the grant writing knowledge you may have to the next level of practical application. Once you successfully submitted your grant application, now what? Also during this session, you hear about what you can do while you are in wait mode or after the award has been announced. Whether you received the award or not, there are things you need to do. If you were “denied” you will hear about how to obtain feedback and apply what you learned so you can be prepared for another submission opportunity. Additionally, for awards received, you will receive step-by-step instructions for moving forward with implementation and managing the grant award through closure.

Presenter: Valarie Tickle, DE Criminal Justice Council

2:45 PM - 3:00 PM


3:00 PM - 4:30 PM

Breakout Sessions (described below)

Community Corrections: The Fulcrum of an Effective Criminal Justice System

Every road to reform leads through community corrections. Whether it’s diversion to treatment instead of jail or services for the formerly incarcerated, the effectiveness of community-based supervision is the key to successfully improving outcomes for the justice-involved. This panel will explore what makes a strong community corrections system, how planners and researchers can integrate community-based services into their work, and highlight examples of effective programs and services.

Presenters: Elisa Lopez-Canseco, Residential Corrections Administrator, Crosspoint, Inc.

Law Enforcement Diversion Models to Intervene in the Opioid Epidemic

Law enforcement officers and other first responders throughout America have implemented a variety of law enforcement diversion models in response to the opioid epidemic. This session provides a framework for assessing the various models of law enforcement diversion and the goals of each type of diversion model. A matrix will be presented that allows communities to evaluate which model of law enforcement diversion programming may be most appropriate for their community based on their needs. Three examples of opioid - related law enforcement diversion programs will also be examined, including a rapid response intervention program for children who witness a parent or loved one suffer an overdose.

Improving the Criminal Background Check System: What States Need to Know

After recent acts of deadly act of gun violence, one common refrain is the need to improve and expand the criminal background checks process, including ensuring that mental health and domestic abuse restraining order records are incorporated when appropriate. Adding to this is the fact that background checks are becoming mandatory for employment in many sectors of the economy, adding strain to an already over-burdened background check system. When the criminal history record systems can’t cope, victims and the wider public lose trust. While Congress provides funds to help automate records and keep up with the increasing demand, many states are struggling to access those funds. The recent Fix NICS Act requires states to adopt plans for improving their systems to meet the increasing demand. This panel will discuss what states need to comply with the law and to keep the public’s trust. One solution discussed will be the FBI’s Next Generation Identification (NGI) Rap Back Service that allows state criminal history repositories to receive real-time updates on persons who have previously been cleared to work as employees or volunteers in child care, child welfare, schools, foster care or other non-criminal justice employment and licensing if a triggering event occurs after the initial check. Attendees will learn how Rap Back works; technology requirements to connect; and how your state can make full use of its capabilities.

Presenters: Lisa Summers, Management and Program Analyst, FBI NGI Rap Back; Kathy Gattin, Senior Project Manager, IJIS Institute.

Transformative Change: Case Studies and Lessons Learned from Two National Criminal Justice Reform Project States

Through a Governor’s mandate, and leadership from the state administering agencies (SAAs) Criminal Justice Policy Advisors (CJPAs) five states have moved forward with data driven justice planning and reform through National Criminal Justice Reform Project. Hear what the state of Illinois is doing to achieve a 25% reduction in prison commitments through the engagement of local criminal justice councils and a partnership with Loyola University. The leadership from Delaware will also share what they have done to institutionalize recidivism reduction and prisoner reentry efforts to improve public safety in their state.

4:30 PM - 5:30 PM

New Forum Attendee Reception

4:30 PM - 5:30 PM

SAA Meeting with BJA Director

Tuesday, July 24

7:30 AM - 9:00 AM

Topical Breakfast Roundtables

7:30 AM - 2:00 PM

Exhibit hall opens

9:00 AM - 9:15 AM


9:15 AM - 10:15 AM

Breakout Sessions (described below)

School Safety: How States around the Country Are Funding Prevention Initiatives

In the wake of recent school shootings and other incidents school violence, there is a profound need to keep students safe and prevent situations from escalating. This session will highlight several SAA funded initiatives across the country. For example in Texas the Telemedicine Wellness Intervention Triage and Referral Project (TWITR) focuses on identifying, monitoring and obtaining prompt care for West Texas troubled youth in schools; efforts that may avert future tragedies. The TWITR project serves as a model for the use of telehealth to identify high school and middle school students exhibiting at-risk behavior that makes them imminently dangerous to themselves or others, screen those students using an evidenced-based battery, triage their individual mental health needs, and make referrals in consultation with a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist for further treatment. Headed by FMHIRCH, TWITR leverages the resources of FMHIRCH, independent school districts, and the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center’s Department of Psychiatry, to establish, operate, and maintain a network of mental health professionals using evidenced-based practice and telemedicine equipment in order to quickly and effectively identify, triage, and refer at-risk students for the proper treatment as well as train ISD faculty and staff on the identification of symptoms and behaviors that may be the result of a mental health disorder.

Presenter: Billy Phillips, Jr., Executive Vice President and Director, The F. Marie Hall Institute for Rural and Community Health

The Future of Policing in Indian Country

Police in Indian Country function within a complicated jurisdictional net, answer to multiple authorities, operate with limited resources, and patrol some of the most desolate of territory often without assistance from partner law enforcement agencies. There are only 2,380 Bureau of Indian Affairs and tribal uniformed officers available to serve an estimated 1.4 million Indians covering over 56 million acres of tribal lands in the lower 48 states. This workshop will examine resources and innovative approaches to collaboration between tribal, local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.

Demystifying the Blockchain

Although information sharing has matured and its deployment footprint expanded in the last 5 to 10 years commensurate with that maturity there remain challenges to transparency, trust, privacy and security among others and no successful technology or methodology has existed that wraps these requirements together into a deployable architecture until now. Blockchain if applied to the right problem domain provides more structure, rigor and systematic technology enabling better management of these complex systems. It can enable the level of transparency, accountability, security and trust that improves the odds for both short and long-term success in the process of implementing mission critical information sharing systems.

While Blockchain has its roots in other more financial and monetary based systems, the parallels in effectively and securely managing large scale distributed transactional data systems is obvious. This session will begin the conversation of how the technology can be applied to the justice and public safety missions. We will explore specific scenarios which can leverage blockchain and discuss the benefits and challenges of using this new technology. This conversation is key to gaining early adopters and proving technologies like blockchain.

Attendees will: 1) be introduced to the basics of Blockchain as and why it is applicable to the correction mission; 2) become familiar with the various mission scenarios to which Blockchain Technology can be applied; and 3) learn the benefits of implementing the technology as well as the potential risks and their mitigations.

Presenters: Kay Chopard Cohen, Consultant; Iveta Topalova, Systems Architect, Microsoft.

Using Digital Tools to Improve Outcomes and Strengthen Community Bonds

Social media has changed how we communicate and conduct the most basic of tasks in our lives. Three-quarters of all Americans, and over 90% of 18-29 year olds, use smartphones. Yet, our jails are filled with defendants who miss court-ordered appearances and our emergency rooms are filled with patients who have been unable to access more steady treatment. Participants will leave this workshop with ready-to-use, effective technology that improve outcomes and strengthen community bonds. Examples will include applications courts and law enforcement agencies are using to remind probationers about required court or therapy appointments, options for interfacings with case management systems, offender tracking and pattern of life information systems, as well as more sophisticated Cognitive Behavioral Therapy digital applications.

Presenter: Tom Herzog, President, Tom Herzog Consulting.

10:15 AM - 10:30 AM


10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Breakout Sessions (described below)

Research to Support Legal and Evidence - Based Pretrial Practice

The pretrial stage of the criminal justice system has been a focus of both local and national reform movements in the last several years including federal efforts such as the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Smart Pretrial Demonstration Initiative, philanthropic efforts including the MacArthur Foundation’s Safety & Justice Challenge, and the Laura and John Arnold Foundation’s Public Safety Assessment Implementation Project. With this widespread focus, answers to questions of what works and what the evidence tells us has become even more important than in the past. This workshop will provide training on the most relevant research that practitioners and policy makers can use in developing more effective and lawful pretrial practices in their jurisdictions. Presenters will engage participants in an interactive, fun activity designed to test participants’ existing knowledge of legal and evidence-based pretrial practices, increase their knowledge, and generate discussion and questions regarding up-to-date pretrial research.

Using Technology, Partnerships Overdose Detection Mapping to Address the Opioid Epidemic

Every day, more than 90 Americans die after overdosing on opioids. The misuse of and addiction to opioids—including prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl—is a serious national crisis that affects public health as well as social and economic welfare. This Opioid epidemic is devastating families and communities, overwhelming medical providers and straining prevention and treatment efforts and resources. As the President so aptly described the problem, “Nobody is safe from this epidemic that threatens young and old, rich and poor, urban and rural communities.“ At the center of our responses to this crisis are information and data needs, information sharing, and coordinated responses and mechanisms. Justice and public health practitioners and the technology industry must work collaboratively to find solutions that address the complex, cross-domain and cross-jurisdictional issues and turn the tide on this epidemic. Successful frameworks for public health and public safety collaboration are expanding. These efforts integrate various public safety and public health data sets to include drug overdose deaths, non-fatal overdoses, naloxone administrations, prescriber data, drug arrests, drug seizures, laboratory results, etc. The analysis of these data sets enables public safety and public health stakeholders to develop and implement prevention, education, outreach, treatment, and enforcement initiatives that protect public safety and reduce drug abuse and fatalities.

This session will explore: 1) Models of public health and public safety partnerships and discuss the critical elements needed to sustain these partnerships; 2) The Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program, a free tool developed by the Washington/Baltimore High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area that provides real-time overdose surveillance data across jurisdictions to support public safety and public health efforts to mobilize an immediate response to an overdose spike; and 3) Technology solutions that were identified at the recent IJIS Institute Opioid Summit such as leveraging the Prescription Drug Monitoring solution to achieve a broader/ more comprehensive response to the opioid crisis and developing data standards across mission areas to ensure good data quality.

Texas Anti-Gang Program

Texas Anto-Gang (TAG) Centers are located regionally throughout the state of Texas, focused entirely on gang prevention, intervention, and suppression. Each center provides a central location to serve as a secure “one-stop” information sharing environment for regional gang intelligence, creating a network targeting local, statewide, and transnational criminal organizations that is unique in the nation. TAGs are focused on maximizing the use of each state, local and federal law enforcement agency’s dedicated resources for multi-agency gang investigations. Information sharing at TAG centers lead to the breakdown of gang operations; set up to expand, build and support co-located multi-agency collaborations; and are focused on gang intelligence sharing, enforcement, investigation, and prosecution of criminal gang enterprises in identified regional “hot spots.” In this session representatives from the Texas state administering agency will discuss their support for the TAGs and state, local and federal TAG partners will discuss how the program works.

Presenters: George E. Rhyne, Jr., Houston TAG Administrator; Sergeant Jason Phillips, Houston Police Department -Gang Division and Group Supervisor; Jason Dragon, Homeland Security Investigations Moderator: Andrew Friedrichs, Associate Director, Texas Office of the Governor

Grants Management: VOCA Funds Administration and Managing the Transition from Legacy Funding to Competitive Processes

In the last two years the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA) has shifted its funding from a legacy based system to almost an entirely competitive system. The South Carolina Attorney General, Crime Services Division has recently passed legislation to facilitated and coordinated process to provide services and compensation for victims. ICJIA built the process while administering the increase in VOCA funds. Both states are on track to obligate all of the increased VAWA and VOCA funds. During this session you will learn how these two states are allocating resources to meet victim needs and how they are managing this increased influx of funding. You will receive links to resources you can modify for use in your jurisdiction and ask your pressing questions to the presenters.

Presenters: Malgorzata Bereziewicz, Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority; Burke Fitzpatrick, Director, SC Attorney Generals' Office, Crime Services Division

12:00 PM - 12:15 PM


12:15 PM - 1:45 PM

Awards Luncheon

1:45 PM - 2:00 PM


2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

Breakout Sessions (described below)

NIBRS Compliance 2021… Are You Ready?

As of January 1st, 2021 the FBI will no longer be accepting UCR based data and will only accept NIBRS generated data. With the deadline fast approaching, law enforcement agencies and those agencies which rely on their data need to know the issues involved in achieving compliance. This workshop will identify those issues, the resources available to assist with compliance and examples of successful change overs from URC reporting to NIBRS.

Presenters: Mike Lesco, Division Director, Law Enforcement Support Division, TX Department of Public Safety; Drema Fouch, Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Law Enforcement and Mental Health (LE/MH) Learning Sites: Technical Assistance for Police Agencies Leading Communities in Safe Crisis Responses to People with Mental Illness

The LE/MH learning sites will be presented to provide resources for state and local law enforcement agencies that are developing or enhancing a Police-Mental Health Collaboration (PMHC), such as a Crisis Intervention Team, co-response team, mobile crisis team, case management approach, or tailored approach, to more effectively respond to people with a mental illness. Agencies will learn how to help reduce repeat encounters with law enforcement; reduce arrests; increase connections to and availability of behavioral health resources; and make encounters with officers safer. Each learning site will be presented along with a PMHC framework document for designing a Police Mental Health Collaboration. The PMHC framework, guided by six questions intended to assist police chiefs, and their mental health counterparts, who want to begin or enhance their PMHC will be discussed. The panel will address challenges faced in implementing and sustaining a PMHC and will discuss solutions to these familiar challenges.

How to Standup a Statewide Information Sharing Environment

The information sharing initiative was designed to accelerate the delivery of the Information Sharing Environment (ISE) and to engage the public safety and national security sectors in developing a national framework for information sharing based on consistent standards and procedures nationwide. The goal of the information sharing executive briefing is to provide guidance to those who wish to create an ISE, by providing them both operational and technical guidance with examples from the field. This session will: 1) revisit the criticality/value of information sharing; provide an overview/brief history of ISE and key case studies (NSI/NJ - ISE/IL+); 2) define program components, governance/stakeholder management, and operations; and the concepts of operations, policy, training, communication/outreach and technical solution; 3) review the suite of resources available, such as Playbook; Sample policies; MOUs; network of resources (RISS, Nlets, etc.); and discuss lessons learned at the state level, with specific focus on New Jersey and Illinois.

Presenter: Ashwini Jarral, Executive Director, IJIS Institute.

Doing More with More: Reducing Violent Crime through Innovative Partnerships

As many communities continue to experience high levels of violent crime, police departments have found that solid partnerships with the right community players make all of the difference in their crime reduction efforts. Although this is not a new concept, building effective collaborations with other agencies continues to be a challenging process for law enforcement agencies. How do police departments select, establish and sustain these partnership? How do agencies go beyond exchanging business cards, to engaging in actual collaboration that reduces crime? This panel will describe police led partnerships with health care providers, the business community, and victim service providers that have increased the cities of Atlanta, Detroit, and St. Louis to address their most pressing violent crime issues.

3:30 PM - 3:45 PM


3:45 PM - 4:45 PM

Inside the Beltway

NCJA staff will offer their annual look at Congressional and Administration activities that affect state, local and tribal criminal justice policymakers and practitioners. This discussion will include appropriations for federal justice assistance programs and upcoming federal legislation.

Presenter: Elizabeth Pyke, Director of Government Affairs, National Criminal Justice Association.

4:45 PM - 5:00 PM

Door Prize Drawing

Wednesday, July 25

8:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Post-Conference Session: "NIBRS 2021…How to Get Ready"

The deadline for Law Enforcement agencies to be compliant with the National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS) is January 1, 2021. After that date, the FBI will no longer accept data under the Uniformed Crime Reporting (UCR) System. Given the importance of the data compiled by NIBRS for the evaluation of crime trends, justification of funding and allocation of resources, hitting the target date for compliance is of critical importance. This training session will provide examples of various Departments’ NIBRS conversion experience. It will also examine the numerous issues involved in the NIBRS compliance process including available resources for technical assistance, RMS systems, construction of memorandums of understanding, strategies for insuring public understanding of changes in data presentation and beneficial RFP language for RMS systems presented by representatives from the FBI, BJS and local, experienced experts.

Click here to register. Registration for this session is separate from National Forum Registration. The cost to attend is $200 per person.

If planning to attend the regional SAA TTA training, please note that event will begin at 1:30 PM.