Christopher Asplen, a former prosecutor and an international expert on DNA technologies, will be the new executive director of the National Criminal Justice Association (NCJA), which represents state, tribal, and local criminal and juvenile justice practitioners. Asplen will succeed Cabell Cropper, who is retiring this month after leading the association for almost 20 years. Asplen’s “experience, knowledge and vision make him the ideal person to lead NCJA,” said the group’s president, Karhlton Moore of the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services.
Asplen formerly directed the DNA Legal Assistance Unit of the American Prosecutors Research Institute and the National District Attorney’s Association, as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, and as executive director of the National Commission on the Future of DNA Evidence for the U.S. Department of Justice. In private law practice, he has advocated for policy and legislative initiatives integrating DNA technology, including post-conviction DNA, into criminal justice systems around the world. Asplen said that, “The broad base of NCJA’s membership combined with its emphasis on research and evaluation based program support make it an organization well positioned to address the challenges facing stakeholders in the criminal justice community.” NCJA is based in Washington, D.C. Its members represent all facets of criminal and juvenile justice, including law enforcement, corrections, prosecution, defense, courts, victim-witness services and educational institutions, and officials on the federal, state, and local level.