Who Cares About NAPSA
At PSA, we care in a big way and here’s why. The National Association of Pretrial Services Agencies (NAPSA) provides an excellent opportunity for training and cross-fertilization of ideas, research and strategies for pretrial justice issues. NAPSA’s work on developing and implementing the Pretrial Release and Pretrial Diversion Standards has led the way and influenced the development of these standards in the pretrial field. As one can imagine, it is possible to build a pretrial services program, but not execute it in a way that is consistent with the mission and values that are most appropriate for pretrial justice. NAPSA Standards help to guide the field as it develops across the country, just as NAPSA's national training conference and other such forums help to train and reinforce the core mission and values of pretrial justice.
NAPSA’s membership consists primarily of pretrial practitioners; however, its 500+ members include many others interested in pretrial issues such as judges, lawyers, researchers, and prosecutors from 44 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia.
PSA has had a vested interest in NAPSA since its inception in 1973 and continues to rely on the organization to stay current on issues in the field and for professional development opportunities.
Among the greatest value to PSA staff is NAPSA’s Annual Conference and Training Institute (ACTI), which provides an opportunity for criminal justice professionals to meet, network, and learn about the work of other pretrial and court programs across the nation. In prior years, PSA has had large numbers of staff attend the national conference, from Pretrial Services Officers to management, and from all areas of the Agency including finance, human resources, IT and training. We see this conference as an opportunity for our staff to improve and expand their knowledge and skills in the pretrial field, and we consider this as important for the support functions as for operations. For the 2013 ACTI, PSA Director, Cliff Keenan, Office of Strategic Development (OSD) Director Spurgeon Kennedy, and Michael Kainu, OSD Program Analyst, will present on topics such as outcome and performance measurement, best practices in pretrial diversion, legal issues in the pretrial field, “charge specialization” among defendants accused of domestic violence offenses, and proper interviewing techniques.
For more than 40 years, PSA has provided vital volunteer support to NAPSA in a variety of ways. PSA was instrumental in establishing the organization in its early years and developing the NAPSA Release Standards and the Diversion Standards. PSA also served as host for two national conferences in 2002 (with Virginia) and in 2012. Two of PSA’s previous directors, Bruce Beaudin and Jay Carver, and one deputy director, George Moriarity, served as NAPSA President; and PSA’s current OSD Director Spurgeon Kennedy is serving as NAPSA Vice President. NAPSA also established the Bruce Beaudin Award to recognize the accomplishments of a line staff pretrial worker who exemplifies the goals and objectives of the pretrial services profession. Bruce Beaudin was the founding President of NAPSA.
NAPSA’s current work focuses on establishing the criteria and process for certification of pretrial professionals and agencies consistent with the principles set out in the Release Standards.
The 2013 Annual Conference takes place from September 15 to 18, in Orlando, Florida. To learn more about NAPSA, visit www.napsa.org.