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

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Mission and Guiding Principles

NIJ — the research, development and evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice — is dedicated to improving knowledge and understanding of crime and justice issues through science. NIJ provides objective and independent knowledge and tools to inform the decision-making of the criminal justice community to reduce crime and advance justice, particularly at the state and local levels. 

NIJ's pursuit of this mission is guided by the following principles:

  • Research can make a difference in individual lives, in the safety of communities and in creating a more effective and fair justice system.
  • Government-funded research must adhere to processes of fair and open competition guided by rigorous peer review.
  • NIJ's research agenda must respond to the real world needs of victims, communities and criminal justice professionals.
  • NIJ must encourage and support innovative and rigorous research methods that can provide answers to basic research questions as well as practical, applied solutions to crime.
  • Partnerships with other agencies and organizations, public and private, are essential to NIJ's success.
Date Created: January 16, 2018