Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2014, $102,278)
Statement of the Problem: The National Institute of Justice strives to support rigorous research on criminal justice system best practices and to disseminate that knowledge so that it may inform policy and practice. However, these efforts can prove challenging due to the science-practice gap: science could be providing empirically-informed strategies and resources to inform and improve practice, yet communities frequently operate independently from scientific scholarship. In order to advance criminal justice through science, it is necessary to examine NIJ's current dissemination efforts and develop ways to maximize their potential moving forward. If successful, improved dissemination efforts may lead to more rapid adoption and implementation of effective innovations, an increase in researcher-practitioner partnerships, and improved functioning of the criminal justice system. I will develop a theoretically-guided project that would empirically document the strengths and limitations of NIJ's dissemination efforts and recommend data-based solutions for improving research-to-practice implementation.
Research Design and Methods: Diffusion of Innovations theory is a multidisciplinary theory for understanding how innovations are adopted readily and diffuse throughout a social system; this theory will be used to guide the proposed project. Practical-participatory theory emphasizes knowledge production as a collaborative process that should result in use; this theory will be used to guide the project processes. Social network analysis examines existing networks between individuals and organizations to determine how an individual's/organization's location in the network determines their opportunities and outcomes; this analysis technique will inform the methods used in investigating current and planning future dissemination of NIJ-funded research. To examine NIJ's current dissemination practices, NIJ's 'push' for research consumption among practitioners and practitioner's 'pull' for this same knowledge would be investigated. This insight would then be used to guide future dissemination efforts. Social network analysis will aid in developing search chains that document practitioner 'pull' for evidence-based research and will aid in identifying opinion leaders to champion future scientific research evidence.
Products and Reports: As a final product for this Fellowship, I will develop empirically-based recommendations for strengthening NIJ's dissemination efforts. I will also assist in the production of scholarly products with NIJ to disseminate to the larger scientific community and with practitioners. ca/ncf
- Juvenile Justice Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic Crisis: Responses, and Opportunities for Reform
- Indigenous-led Research on Sex Trafficking among Native Americans in the Northern Great Plains
- Reducing Youth Incarceration for Runaway and Truancy: A National Scan of Practice and Evaluability Assessments in Three Sites