Chapter 1: The Technical Assistance Process
The Technical Assistance Plan or Request

Obtaining technical assistance may or may not require a formal proposal. This chapter describes the elements that may be needed in a formal proposal. For less rigorous plans or requests, a few notes, or merely thinking through each area, may be sufficient to formulate a request for limited or moderate technical assistance.

Table 1:e contains a list of some of the information that should be gathered for a technical assistance plan or request. A technical assistance provider may require specific forms or formats for a technical assistance request. (Always check before preparing a request.) The more work done initially to prepare for technical assistance, the more likely the assistance will meet the needs of the jurisdiction or program. The information gathered for a written plan or request will be especially useful if an outside consultant will be used. This material will help the consultant prepare and provide assistance that is specifically targeted to the jurisdiction's or program's needs.

Table 1:e Elements of a Technical Assistance Plan or Request
  • A description of the condition, problem, or issue for which technical assistance is needed. It should be described as specifically as possible.

  • An explanation of why this condition, problem, or issue is important. It should include the following information:

    • How it came to the attention of juvenile justice system personnel.
    • What the consequences will be if the condition, problem, or issue is not addressed.
    • Data that support the conclusion that this is a significant condition, problem, or issue (e.g., surveys, needs assessments).
    • Political or organizational factors that contribute to the condition, problem, or issue or factors that may pose barriers to its solution.

  • A description of current jurisdictional or program statutes, regulations, policies, and procedures that address this condition, problem, or issue.

  • An overview of the jurisdiction's or program's willingness to seek, accept, and use technical assistance to make needed changes. Letters of support from key stakeholders may be helpful.

  • A description of any previous attempts to address the problem or issue and the results of these efforts.

  • A list of those who will be involved in receiving and implementing technical assistance recommendations.

  • A description of any cooperative or collaborative efforts already under way in the jurisdiction/community related to this condition, problem, or issue or to similar situations.

  • Possible effects of the technical assistance on the jurisdiction or program, including the following:

    • The anticipated benefits.
    • Any foreseeable difficulties that may be encountered.

  • An overview of background information about the jurisdiction or agency, such as the following:

    • Statistical data on cases, programs, and processes.
    • Demographic information.
    • Organizational structure.
    • Funding and other program resources.

  • An explanation of management information systems (in place or planned) to track the implementation and effects of the technical assistance recommendations.

  • A list of agency or program resources available for supporting the technical assistance effort.

Sources: American University Courts Technical Assistance Project, 1992; American Probation and Parole Association, 1997.

Chapter 1 Contents

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Jurisdictional Technical Assistance Package for Juvenile Corrections Report - December 2000