Community Justice Partnerships
Establishing effective partnerships with other criminal justice agencies and community organizations facilitates close supervision of offenders in the community and enhances the delivery of treatment and support services.
CSOSA's Community Relations Specialists are mobilizing the community, identifying needs and resources, building support for our programs, and establishing relationships with local law enforcement and human service agencies, as well as the faith-based community, businesses, and non-profit organizations.
These efforts, formalized in Community Justice Partnerships, Community Justice Advisory Networks, and the CSOSA/Faith Community Partnership, enhance offender supervision, increase community awareness and acceptance of CSOSA's work, and increase the number of jobs and services available to offenders.
Data sharing and teamwork among CSOSA's Community Supervision Officers and police have become routine aspects of effective supervision, characterized by the following activities:
Community Supervision Officers and police officers form teams responsible for defined geographic areas to share photographs, addresses, and background information on high-risk offenders.
Community Supervision Officers and uniformed police officers in marked police vehicles conduct Accountability Tours – or joint visits with offenders in the community.
Community Supervision Officers and law enforcement partners further seek to prevent repeat crime by hosting Mass Orientations, in which police and Community Supervision Officers meet with offenders recently ordered or released to community supervision. Prosecutors from the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia also attend Mass Orientations to warn offenders about the significant consequences of possessing or using a firearm while on probation, parole, or supervised release. The orientation sessions emphasize the collaboration between CSOSA and other law enforcement entities and offer opportunities for job training or other vital services for offenders.
CSOSA also organizes Community Justice Advisory Networks (CJAN's) in each police district of the city. These networks consist of community members, faith-based organizations, business leaders, and other stakeholders who work together to identify solutions to public safety issues and to promote opportunities for offenders to become productive, law-abiding members of their communities.
Together, these activities help make offenders known to law enforcement partners on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis. This reduced anonymity encourages offenders to comply with conditions of release. Close working relationships among CSOSA, law enforcement partners, and the community contribute to the agency's goals for improved public safety in the District of Columbia.