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Support for the Committee on Law and Justice

Award Information

Award #
Funding First Awarded

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2012, $275,000)

This project is for a 12-month award. During this period, the Committee on Law and Justice (CLAJ) of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) will hold two meetings, one of which will include a seminar, utilizing the National Academies' facilities in Washington, DC. The meetings will allow the Committee to monitor existing projects, develop plans for new projects, and explore research needs related to criminal justice in topic areas of interest to NIJ and the Committee. For the seminar, Committee members will be asked to discuss topics of interest to NIJ, CLAJ, and the general public. A paper may be commissioned or published materials may be included in agenda materials meant to inform the discussion. CLAJ will also develop proposals for consensus studies and workshops.

While there is a considerable body of research that contributes scientific knowledge for the development of current state and federal legislation and programs, the relatively low level of funding available for crime research, especially juxtaposed to that available for program operations, has resulted in gaps in the overall research portfolio in criminal justice. CLAJ can bring to the table a mechanism for an objective and transparent deliberative process to sort through scientific issues and controversies associated with criminal justice policies, programs, and practices. The work conducted under this award is expected to lead to new theoretical perspectives, newly developed proposals, and the provision of expert guidance to multiple panel studies and workshops in both existing and under-developed areas of criminal justice.

The funds dedicated to this award will allow CLAJ to conduct these activities and manage its existing and proposed workload, by supporting regular meetings and dedicated support staff. Through its work, CLAJ will assist NIJ in the development of its strategic plans and research programs by assessing current knowledge in crime prevention by providing scientific leadership in the exploration of emerging theories, concepts and policies; guiding the development, testing and evaluation of crime prevention and control practices; and encouraging the development of new programs in the area of criminal justice. During the award period, the Committee hopes to obtain funding for four new projects: Understanding the Crime Decline in America: A Proposal for a National Research Council Roundtable; Understanding Financial Fraud: Policy Responses and Research Needs; Bullying (in collaboration with the Board on Children, Youth and Families); and Capital Punishment Study: A Proposal to Assess the Evidence on Error and Arbitrariness in Administration of the Death Penalty. nca/ncf

Date Created: September 27, 2012