From Research to Policy to Practice and Back Again

I have been lucky in my career to have a wonderful professional mentor who is also my friend. Domingo Herraiz, the director of programs at the International Association of Chiefs of Police, told me the most empowering thing I can recall, “Don’t be afraid to fail.” Will Smith has summed up the same advice into a great dictum:  “Fail Early, Fail Often, Fail Forward.

Because of Domingo’s advice, I’ve had the courage to take risks and come up with innovative ideas. In particular, I’ve learned to embrace research. As a former prosecutor and senior policy advisor at the U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ), I admit, it was an adjustment, but, boy, am I glad I was willing to fail. Continue reading “From Research to Policy to Practice and Back Again”

Welcome to the JPO Blog!

The Justice Programs Office (JPO), a center in the School of Public Affairs at American University, is delighted to welcome you to our blog. Check back weekly for insights from our staff on criminal justice issues of the day, our Friday roundup of the most relevant news articles from the past week, and updates on the latest happenings in our projects, such as the:

  • National Drug Court Resource Center, which equips drug court practitioners with a myriad of drug court resources, including evidence-based practices, training and technical assistance, publications, webinars, and a searchable online drug court map.
  • Juvenile Drug Treatment Court Training and Technical Assistance Initiative, which provides training and technical assistance to juvenile drug treatment courts across the nation and addresses their needs from behavioral health and program practices perspectives.
  • Right to Counsel National Campaign, a national public awareness campaign to inform and engage policymakers, criminal justice stakeholders, and the public on the importance of meaningfully carrying out the Sixth Amendment right to counsel and the effective delivery of public defense services.
  • The Justice in Government Project, which provide strategic guidance to state and local officials seeking to leverage civil legal aid to achieve their policy and programmatic goals and ensure the maximum benefit from dollars spent on low- and moderate-income people and communities.

Please also consider writing for us. We welcome submissions from our friends and partners about issues related our work. JPO provides research, technical assistance, training, evaluation, and capacity-building services to jurisdictions, organizations, and government agencies throughout the United States and internationally to ensure the systems we rely on for justice are fair, effective, and driven by data. If you would like to be considered for our blog, please email JPOCommunications@american.edu.