Volume 13, Issue 2

A Publication of the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services, a division of the Ohio Department of Public Safety

February 5, 2016

News and Announcements

A Message From the Bureau of Justice Assistance

The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) administers the Congressional Badge of Bravery (CBOB) Office, which oversees both the Federal and the State and Local CBOB Review Boards. These Boards meet annually to consider, and are allowed to recommend a limited number of applications that are submitted to the Attorney General for approval to receive the CBOB. The 2015 CBOB application period, which is currently open, will close on February 15, 2016.  

In an effort to inform our law enforcement partners across the nation of this opportunity, I am conducting additional outreach so that they are aware of and have an opportunity to submit nominations for this award before the end of the application submission period.  I encourage you to assist in this effort by sharing this opportunity with your colleagues and contacts.  For your convenience, I am providing the link to the CBOB website where information regarding the program’s qualifications, nomination, and submission requirements can be found: www.bja.gov/CBOB


Nominations Now Open: 2016 Models of Justice Awards Celebration

The "Model of Justice" Awards were created to honor and celebrate criminal justice officials, advocates, nurses, social workers, survivors, attorneys, legislators, media and community leaders who have worked diligently to protect, enforce, and advance crime victims' rights.

Please take a moment to nominate a "Model of Justice" in your community and join us in celebrating their achievements April 11!
Meet our honored guests, enjoy great food, and celebrate the remarkable achievements of our award winners. 
Register here



Nominations Open for NCJA Regional Representatives

The NCJA Elections Committee is seeking nominations for regional representatives on the NCJA Advisory Council, the principal governing body for NCJA.

Regional representatives bring a different perspective to the NCJA leadership as the voice of practitioners in the field. Other members of the Advisory Council are state criminal justice agency administrators from each member state, so the regional representatives bring added diversity to the governing body. The members of the Advisory Council help the NCJA Board of Directors formulate and guide the policy and direction of the association. NCJA Advisory Council members are eligible for election as NCJA officers and Board of Directors members. Click here to view a statement of responsibility.

The Advisory Council meets annually in conjunction with the National Forum on Criminal Justice. The next meeting is on August 7, 2016. At that time the Council will also elect officers and the Board of Directors.

Any individual or tribal member or the designated representative of a Criminal Justice Coordinating Council in good standing can serve as a regional representative. The regional representatives are elected for a term of one year and may serve consecutive terms. Each region will elect a minimum of three representatives; a fourth representative may be elected from the tribal government members in each region. A roster of current regional representatives is available on the NCJA website.  A list of eligible members is also available by region

Any member in good standing may submit a nomination. After nominations are solicited from the membership-at-large, individual members, tribal government members and designees of criminal justice coordinating council members will vote by secret ballot in elections held this spring. Ballots will be sent to members by email and elections will be held online. The top three vote getters from each region will serve as regional representatives with the fourth highest vote getter serving as an alternate.

Nominations may be submitted online or by email to Bethany Broida. All nominations should be accompanied by a short biographical sketch of the nominee with at a minimum the nominee’s present position and responsibilities, background, and education. Members may submit multiple nominations. 

All nominations must be received at the NCJA office no later than 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time, Friday, April 22, 2016, which is also the deadline for becoming an NCJA member in order to participate in the 2016 election for regional representatives.


Seeking Outstanding Criminal Justice Programs

NCJA is seeking nominations for its annual NCJA Outstanding Criminal Justice Programs Awards. These awards honor successful criminal justice programs that use promising practices to address important crime and justice issues in communities.
Programs are evaluated using the following criteria:

The NCJA will honor these winning programs during an Awards Luncheon at the 2016 National Forum on Criminal Justice in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Travel expenses will be provided for one representative from each winning program.

NCJA wil host a webinar to help potential applicants craft their nomination packages. Join us for NCJA’s Outstanding Criminal Justice Program Awards: Tips and Tricks for Success, on February 24 at 2:00PM ET.

During this webinar NCJA Executive Director Cabell Cropper will discuss the elements that go into a submitting a successful Outstanding Criminal Justice Program Award application package. He will outline what the evaluators look for in a winning program and what information can and should be included for your nomination materials. Using examples from previous winners, he will also discuss what makes a program stand apart from the other applicants. Participants will also have the opportunity to ask questions.

Visit the NCJA website for more information about the Outstanding Criminal Justice Awards, including a nomination form. The deadline to submit nominations is April 15 at 5:00 PM ET.



Training/Technical Assistance

Free Grant Writing Seminars

The 2016 schedule will be announced shortly.


Board of Immigration Appeals Recognition and Accreditation and Immigration Legal Services for Abused Immigrants

Presented by the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), in partnership with Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) and ASISTA Immigration Assistance

March 8-9, 2016
Sheraton Tysons Hotel
8661 Leesburg Pike
Tysons, Virginia 22182
(703) 448-1234

* Registration Deadline is February 10th *

This two-day course is geared towards non-lawyer legal advocates who will be or are currently working with immigrant survivors of domestic violence (DV) or sexual assault (SA). Trainers will combine a basic overview of immigration law with an introduction to legal and case management skills critical to becoming an effective immigration law advocate. This training is designed to help prepare legal advocates to become Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) accredited. BIA accreditation allows non-lawyers to practice immigration law and assist survivors with obtaining lawful immigration status without the abuser’s knowledge or consent.

Topics covered shall include: an overview of the immigration system and laws, immigrating through marriage and other family relationships, grounds of inadmissibility and removability, immigration remedies under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA and U status), adjustment of status, BIA recognition and accreditation and ethical considerations in working with immigration cases.

The training will be interactive with group and individual exercises and several opportunities for discussion and information sharing. Participants will also have the opportunity to sign up to receive an individual consultation on assembling their BIA recognition and accreditation applications. This is a two-day training, and participants will be required to attend both days of the training.

Faculty members include Susan Schreiber, Michelle Mendez and Silvana Arista of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) and Cecelia Levin of ASISTA Immigration Assistance. CLINIC and ASISTA assists DV and SA advocates with obtaining BIA recognition for their agency and BIA accreditation for themselves as staff working for those agencies.

This training is open to Legal Assistance for Victims, Rural Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, Dating Violence and Stalking grantees and partners, as well as recipients of the STOP Violence Against Women Formula Grant Program (STOP) sub grantees. The grantees referenced above will have priority for the training.  If OVW Technical Assistance providers and other OVW grantees are interested in participating, they will be admitted if space is available. Registration is limited to 38 participants. Up to two participants from the same organization/agency are permitted to register. If there are more than two participants from the same organization/agency interested in attending, we will place them on a waiting list and contact them if additional spaces become available.

Please note that this training is open solely to non-lawyer legal advocates who are seeking initial BIA accreditation.


Please register no later than February 10, 2016. Register here.

Please let us know in the registration form if you need any accommodations, such as wheelchair access, spoken language or ASL interpreters, large font handouts, or any other assistance. 

If you have any questions about the training or registration form, please contact: Silvana Arista of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc. (CLINIC) at 301-565-4827 or via Email at sarista@cliniclegal.org.



How to Build a UAS/UAV Program for Public Safety

Do you need to build a Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS/UAV) Program within your agency or department? Attend this seminar and find out how. Attendees will learn about applications for UAS’s by department, UMAP technologies, and counter-UAS initiatives.

Date: Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Time: 9:00am – 4:00pm
Cost: FREE
Location: Columbus Police Academy, Auditorium
1000 N Hague Ave,
Columbus, OH 43204

Please RSVP today by sending an email to: Jennifer Ball (jball@aeryon.com). Deadline is February 7, 2016.



Trauma-Informed Practices to Enhance Policy, Investigation, and Resolution of Gender-Based Misconduct

March 7th - March 8th, 2016 
Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio

As the conversation around gender-based misconduct expands to the popular media, so does the pressure institutions of higher education face to address these issues in a compassionate, competent, and compliant manner. Campus professionals need to know how to work beyond their policies in order to effectively respond to gender-based violence.

Join the Victim Rights Law Center for a two-day conference to learn: 
The fundamentals of creating integrated, trauma-informed policies

This conference will draw from campus-specific examples to create sound, practical systems and will be beneficial to Title IX Coordinators, campus administrators, investigators, conduct board members, faculty, first responders, and general counsel. 

Registration Fee: $495 (A $50 per person discount will be applied when registering 3 or more people) 

Register here



Grant Funding

Important Notice to OVW Grantees, Applicants and Stakeholders:
Title Change to the Grants to Encourage Arrest Policies and Enforcement of Protection Orders Program

In fiscal year (FY) 2016, the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) changed the working title of the Grants to Encourage Arrest Policies and Enforcement of Protection Orders (Arrest) Program to the Improving Criminal Justice Responses to Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking Grant (Improving Criminal Justice Responses) Program to more accurately reflect the program’s scope.

The Improving Criminal Justice Responses Program is designed to encourage partnerships between state, local, and tribal governments, courts, victim service providers, coalitions and rape crisis centers, to ensure that sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking are treated as serious violations of criminal law requiring the coordinated involvement of the entire criminal justice system and community-based victim service organizations. The Improving Criminal Justice Responses Program challenges the community to work collaboratively to identify problems, and share ideas that will result in new responses to ensure victim safety and offender accountability.

OVW is excited to announce the release of the FY 2016 Improving Criminal Justice Responses to Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking Grant Program solicitation. All applications are due by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (E.T.) on Thursday, March 3, 2016.


News From Our Ohio Task Force Commanders

Trafficking Indictments, Convictions on Rise in County

ZANESVILLE - The number of defendants indicted in Muskingum County on drug trafficking charges has nearly doubled in 2015 from a year prior, according to numbers provided by the prosecutor's office.

Grand juries indicted 48 defendants on trafficking charges this year, compared with 25 in 2014 and 10 in 2013, according to county statistics. The number of defendants appearing in common pleas court on drug-related felony indictments, including possession charges, has steadily increased as far back as 2011, those numbers show.

Indictments with a drug possession charge saw a slight drop-off from 2014 — 82 in 2015 compared to 103 in 2014.
"Obviously, we have an epidemic going on," Muskingum County Prosecutor Mike Haddox said.

Investigators see it on the streets of Zanesville, where low-level dealers sell $10 crack rocks to fund their own drug habits, Haddox said. And investigators see it in the high-level traffickers, who operate sophisticated operations throughout the county, efficiently pumping heroin, methamphetamine and other deadly drugs onto the streets, Haddox said.

As the problem worsens, the city becomes hampered with drug addicts and organized crime. Many turn to other crimes like burglary and theft to fuel their addiction.

"I've got to think 75 percent or 85 percent of our crime is fueled by drugs," Haddox said. "It really is behind a significant portion of our crime."

Police could arrest dozens of low-level dealers a day, Haddox said, but "you're not going to slow down the drug trafficking with that sort of game plan." So authorities instead have turned their attention to the top of the order, targeting those dealers whose networks are difficult to penetrate.

"We want an emphasis on targeting the major drug offenders," Haddox said. "I think we've been very successful in doing that."

It involves collaboration between Haddox's office and law enforcement agencies across the county. The Zanesville Police Department and Muskingum County Sheriff's have a joint drug unit. Those two agencies are also part of the Central Ohio Drug Enforcement Task Force.

To build a case against the dealers, authorities often employ confidential informants to make undercover drug buys from the targets. It's a difficult strategy, as high-level dealers only sell to those they know and trust.

Traffickers like Darren M. Reese, who was convicted in September on multiple drug-related felonies, employ strategies called "layering" to protect his operation, according to the prosecutor's office.

Under the ploy, Reese obtained his illegal drugs in large quantities from a regional supplier and distributed it to street-level dealers, according to a sentencing memorandum filed against him. The effect was to protect the higher-ranking dealers from arrest as the product moved down the food chain while ensuring an “extremely lucrative illegal business” for Reese.

But despite that, agents with CODE developed a confidential informant to build a case against Reese. And in July, he and six others were taken into custody during a massive raid at two homes in which $120,000 in illegal drugs were taken off the streets.
All have been sentenced in common pleas court before going to trial.

According to numbers from the prosecutor's office, a total of 148 defendants were convicted on possession and trafficking charges in 2015, compared with 90 the previous year.

Of those, 93 received prison sentences in 2015.

Throughout 2015, sentencing memorandums filed through Haddox's office against alleged traffickers notes that many balance the profits they gain against the punishment they face and conclude that it's worth it. To combat that calculation, prosecutors have argued for maximum prison sentences in drug trafficking cases.

"We want drug dealers to know that if they're trafficking drugs in Muskingum County, they're going to receive long, harsh sentences," Haddox said. "We are striving to make Muskingum County as inhospitable to drug dealers as we can."

It's had an impact, Haddox said: Convicted dealers, as well as dealers under investigation, are talking about the prison terms they're facing. And even dealers outside the county are hearing about it, Haddox said.

"We work as hard as we can and we do as much as we can in fighting this thing," Haddox said. "We're trying to make a difference and we're never going to quit trying."