U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites always use a .gov or .mil domain. Before sharing sensitive information online, make sure you’re on a .gov or .mil site by inspecting your browser’s address (or “location”) bar.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Strengthen science. Advance justice.

Learn more about NIJ's mission
Persons hand holding on to a canister of pepper spray.
Siberian Photagrapher / iStock (see reuse policy).

Research Insights on the Use of Pepper Spray

In 2013, an estimated 94% of all police departments authorized the use of pepper spray. Yet its actual use by law enforcement would wane over time with the surge in popularity of conducted energy devices (CED). An NIJ Journal article outlines several factors which help account for the more constrained deployment of pepper spray as a standard policing tool today.

NIJ Day at IACP Conference and Expo 2019

Attending the International Association of Chiefs of Police 2019 Conference in Chicago? Join NIJ for a day of panels on Saturday, October 26 from 8:00 AM to 2:30 PM CT in McCormick Place West, Hyde Park (CC11). Come learn about promising practices in police recruitment, selection, training and retention, investigative techniques, and evidence-based policing strategies.
Find funding opportunities

Find funding opportunities

NIJ awards research, development, testing, evaluation, and capacity enhancement grants.
Read the latest

Read the latest

Review a list of publications and articles from both NIJ and the researchers we fund.
Register for events

Register for events

Check out a list of our upcoming events. If you don't see anything of interest, we also offer a number of recorded, on-demand event and training opportunities.
Browse all topics

Browse all topics

Find articles and other information on a wide variety of criminal justice topics.
Person holding a pen at an event.
Motorion/iStock (see reuse policy).

First Step Act

The First Step Act of 2018 aims to reform the federal prison system and reduce recidivism. NIJ is working to assess and develop an existing prisoner risk and needs assessment system, and develop recommendations regarding effective evidence-based recidivism reduction programs and activities. 

Mentoring Program Promising for Improving Reading Skills

This is a structured, one-on-one tutoring and mentoring intervention that was designed to improve language arts skills among low-achieving students in kindergarten through 12th grade. The program is rated “Promising” by CrimeSolutions for increasing student reading comprehension and overall reading quotient scores. There were no significant differences in reading fluency scores.