Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $250,000)
Established in 1975, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s (NASEM’s) Committee on Law and Justice’s (CLAJ) mission is to improve government decision making and public policy and promote the understanding and dissemination of research in matters involving law and justice. For more than 45 years, CLAJ has advanced evidence-based policies in the criminal and juvenile justice fields. CLAJ’s independent, expert reports and other scientific activities identify new areas of research, assist in resolving scientific controversies, extend the research agenda in established areas, promote theory development, and advance research-based policies. Comprised of prominent scholars and practitioners, CLAJ will provide NIJ with a continuous mechanism for objective, transparent, and rigorous processes to sort through scientific issues and controversies associated with criminal justice policies, programs, and practices. The committee’s work will lead to new theoretical perspectives in both existing and under-developed areas of criminal justice research and evaluation, raise the profile of crime and justice research, and play a critical role in helping to develop and advance the field. Moreover, ongoing access to CLAJ members and staff, as well as other NASEM entities, will enable NIJ to obtain independent insights on issues relevant to NIJ strategic planning, program development, and other NIJ concerns. Specifically, funding support for the operations of CLAJ will enable the committee to anticipate issues related to law and justice that can be informed by scientific research as well as respond to complex questions posed by government decision makers at all levels.