Thursday, October 29, 2009

Can you predict lethal intimate partner violence?

November 12, 2009
3 pm - 5 pm (Eastern Time)

Of all women murdered in the United States, 40-50 percent are murdered by their intimate partners and 45 percent are murdered when they are trying to leave an abusive partner. Women threatened with a gun are 20 times more likely to be murdered.

Approximately 1.3 million women are physically assaulted by an intimate partner per year in the United States.

Practitioners and researchers have built strong partnerships to understand and prevent intimate partner violence. In this expert chat you will learn about the Danger Assessment (DA) and how this tool is changing the way police in Baltimore, Maryland, are addressing domestic violence. What Baltimore is doing may help your jurisdiction.

Panelists include:

Andy Klein, Ph.D. - Moderator, Senior Research Analyst with Advocates for Human Potential, Inc.
Marci Van De Mark, LCSW-C - Assistant Director, Adult & Community Services Division, Baltimore County Department of Social Services
Jacquelyn Campbell, Ph.D., RN - Researcher; Anna D. Wolf Chair & Professor, Department of Community Public Health at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing
Rene Renick, MA, LPC, EMBA - Director of Programs and Operations, National Network to End Domestic Violence
Register today!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

U.S. Fire Administration Kicks off Public Fire Safety Campaign On Home Smoke Alarms and Residential Fire Sprinklers

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) today launched an effort to encourage everyone to install and maintain home smoke alarms and, if possible, sprinklers. More than 3,000 people die in home fires each year, and the majority of them have no working smoke alarm. To prevent these deaths, the USFA, a division of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is sponsoring the nationwide Install. Inspect. Protect. Campaign, which emphasizes that “Smoke Alarms Save Lives.”

“The U.S. Fire Administration tracks fatal home fires every day, and it is tragic to see how many deaths are linked to homes without working smoke alarms,” said Kelvin J. Cochran, U.S. Fire Administrator. “The USFA is committed to preventing the loss of life and we want residents and fire fighters to be safe.” He added, “Smoke alarms are inexpensive, easy to install, and easy to maintain. We are asking everyone to make sure they have working smoke alarms in their homes, and if possible, sprinklers.”

When both smoke alarms and fire sprinklers are present in a home, the risk of dying in a fire is reduced by 82 percent, when compared to a residence without either. According to the National Fire Protection Association, between 2003-2006, almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with either no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.

Cochran also emphasized that firefighters often die in the line of duty trying to rescue people who did not get out at the first sign of a fire. He added, “Smoke alarms and sprinklers give you and your family more time to get out, before firefighters have to come in to rescue you.”

The Install. Inspect. Protect. Campaign is promoting fire safety through a free Campaign Toolkit DVD; featuring English and Spanish educational materials; print, radio and television PSAs; children’s materials, a video demonstration of how quickly a home fire spreads, and on the USFA’s consumer-friendly Web site at

The USFA has always promoted fire safety and the use of smoke alarms through materials and in campaigns, such as “Tribute to Heroes” and “Prepare. Practice. Prevent the Unthinkable: A Parents’ Guide to Fire Safety for Babies and Toddlers,” to name a few. Now, emphasizing the importance of both smoke alarms and sprinklers, our PSAs --“My Dad” and “My Mom” – focus on the viewpoint of the child of a firefighter. The campaign materials include real stories of people whose lives have been saved because they had a working smoke alarm.

The USFA offers a few helpful tips on smoke alarms and sprinklers:

Place properly installed and maintained smoke alarms both inside and outside of sleeping areas and on every level of your home.

Interconnected smoke alarms are best, because if one sounds, they all sound.

The U.S. Fire Administration recommends that every residence and place where people sleep be equipped with both ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms or dual sensor smoke alarms, which contain both ionization and photoelectric smoke sensors.

Test smoke alarms monthly and change alkaline batteries at least once every year, or as instructed by the manufacturer. You can use a date you already know, like your birthday or when you change your clocks as a reminder.

If possible, install residential fire sprinklers in your home.

Avoid painting or covering the fire sprinkler, because that will affect the sensitivity to heat.

Organizations in partnership with the U.S. Fire Administration’s Install. Inspect. Protect. Campaign include the American Fire Sprinkler Association, Burn Institute, Everyone Goes Home, Fire and Emergency Manufacturers and Services Association, Fire Department Safety Officers Association, Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, Home Safety Council, International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters, International Association of Fire Chiefs, International Association of Women in Fire & Emergency Services, National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) , NASFM Fire Research and Education Foundation, National Association of Hispanic Firefighters, National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, National Fire Protection Association, National Fire Sprinkler Association, National Volunteer Fire Council, and Safe Kids Worldwide.

Materials can be downloaded at (English) or (Spanish). The Campaign Toolkit disc with all campaign materials is available from the USFA Publications Center at or by calling (800)561-3356.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Treasury Designates Mexican Nationals, Company as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers

The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today designated Mexican national Edgardo Leyva Escandon, five members of his financial network, and one Mexico-based company as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers for their ties to the Arellano Felix Organization (Tijuana Cartel), Francisco Javier Arellano Felix, or Tijuana Cartel member, Edgardo Leyva Escandon. Pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act), today's designation freezes any assets the designees may have under U.S. jurisdiction and prohibits U.S. persons from conducting financial or commercial transactions with the designees.

"We are taking this action to disrupt Edgardo Leyva Escandon's ability to access weapons and financial conduits on behalf of the Arellano Felix Organization," said OFAC Director Adam J. Szubin. "We will do everything in our power to support the determined counter-narcotics efforts of the Government of Mexico."

The Arellano Felix Organization was named a Tier I Kingpin by the President in June 2004. The principal of this Arellano Felix Organization cell is Edgardo Leyva Escandon, the organization's primary ammunition and firearms supplier, an assassin and a personal assistant to Francisco Javier Arellano Felix, also designated a Tier I Kingpin in June 2004. According to a Southern District of California complaint, Leyva Escandon purchased cases of ammunition from multiple San Diego-based firearms merchants, acquiring thousands of rounds at a time. During a July 22, 2006 search of Leyva Escandon's residence, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) seized more than 450 rounds of assorted ammunition and conversion kits for the production of fully automatic Uzi machine guns.

In addition to ammunition trafficking, Leyva Escandon helped procure the Dock Holiday yacht, which was utilized by Francisco Javier Arellano Felix. On August 14, 2006, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), with assistance from the U.S. Coast Guard, arrested Francisco Javier Arellano Felix while he was on-board the Dock Holiday in international waters.

In addition to the ATF, Edgardo Leyva Escandon is wanted by the DEA and is the subject of a $2 million reward under the auspices of the State Department's Narcotics Rewards Program.

Also designated today are the following Edgardo Leyva Escandon financial operators: Aristoteles Alejandro Abaroa Preciado, Victor Manuel Abaroa Diaz, Victor Hussein Abaroa Preciado, Elia Yolanda Preciado Gamez and Rosa Yolanda Nabila Abaroa Preciado. The designation also includes a maritime equipment supplier Tienda Marina Abaroa, based in Baja California Sur, Mexico.

This action is part of ongoing efforts under the Kingpin Act to apply financial measures against significant foreign narcotics traffickers worldwide. Internationally, more than 500 businesses and individuals associated with 82 drug kingpins have been designated pursuant to the Kingpin Act since June 2000. Penalties for violations of the Kingpin Act range from civil penalties of up to $1.075 million per violation to more severe criminal penalties. Criminal penalties for corporate officers may include up to 30 years in prison and fines up to $5 million. Criminal fines for corporations may reach $10 million. Other individuals face up to 10 years in prison and fines pursuant to Title 18 of the United States Code for criminal violations of the Kingpin Act.

Today's designation would not have been possible without key support from DEA's San Diego Field Division, Tijuana Resident Office and Mazatlan Resident Office; the ATF's San Diego Field Office; and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of California.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Suitability of Assessment Instruments for Delinquent Girls

Provides a comprehensive guide to help juvenile justice practitioners determine which standardized assessment instruments should be used when working with delinquent girls. Practitioners can use risk-assessment instruments to identify youth who may recidivate and determine whether youth should be placed in treatment programs or provided other services. This OJJDP Bulletin, part of the Girls Study Group Series, presents recommendations for how practitioners can choose an instrument that is validated, appropriate, and cost-effective.


Monday, October 05, 2009


National Drive Safely Work Week Oct. 5-9

As businesses in the state and across the nation prepare to remind their workforces about safe driving practices as part of Drive Safely Work Week (DSWW), the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) and the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) recommend employers review cell phone and texting use policies for their organization.

"Every company is different and has individual needs with regard to communication on the road," said Michael L. Prince, OHSP director. "We are encouraging every employer to consider adopting a policy for their employees to send a clear message that driving distractions are potentially dangerous and carry unnecessary risks. Warnings simply do not change behavior."

The GHSA recommends banning cell phone use and texting by all employees while driving for business purposes and encourages companies to develop and use systems that would limit or disable certain cell phone functions while an employee is driving.
In 2008, 908 Michigan drivers involved in a crash reported they were using a cell phone prior to the crash. Michigan crash data does not capture information specific to text messaging. Last year, there were a total of 316,057 traffic crashes.
While other distractions do occur during driving, curbing or reducing the use of cell phones while driving is one way to minimize the risk of traffic crashes and related injuries to employees.

DSWW is the annual workplace safety campaign of the Network for Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) that seeks to remind employees of safe driving practices on and off the job.

The Michigan NETS program encourages employers to adopt safe driving policies, reward employees for safety belt use, include articles in company newsletters, display posters and provide safe driving reminders and tips throughout the year.

State cell phone/texting laws and related resources are posted at

Friday, October 02, 2009

Supporting Children Living with Grief and Trauma: A Multidisciplinary Approach

Date: October 27-28, 2009

Duration: 2 days
Cost: $200.00
City/State: Baltimore, MD
Training Location: Courtyard Baltimore Downtown/Inner Harbor
1000 Aliceanna Street
Baltimore, MD 21202
Instructors: Carroll Ann Ellis and Mary Beth Williams

This training will focus on the needs of children who experience grief and trauma as a result of homicide and how victim service providers, mental health professionals, and law enforcement can work together to best serve these children. Topics include:

The signs of grief and trauma in children affected by a homicidal death and the unique challenges surrounding this experience; Appropriate intervention strategies with children experiencing grief and trauma in order to make referrals; and, Strategies to enhance multidisciplinary responses to the special needs of children who experience grief and trauma.


2010 Community Awareness Project Funding

NAVAA will reimburse 60 communities up to $5,000 each to aid them in conducting 2010 National Crime Victims' Rights Week initiatives designed to enhance the general public's awareness of crime victims' rights and services, focuing on this year's theme, "Crime Victims' Rights: Fairness. Dignity. Respect."

Public agencies, nonprofit organizations, community-based victim service organizations, faith-based organizations, tribal organizations, and community coalitions committed to advocating for the rights and services of crime victims are among those encouraged to apply.

Organizations without 501(c) 3 status that serve crime victims and VOCA-funded organizations also are eligible to apply. Applications from individuals will not be considered for funding. Individuals with innovative ideas related to this project are encouraged to work in partnership with an organization or community coalition.