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NIJ Evaluation of the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation (BCJI) Program

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $789,552)

The Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation (BCJI) initiative is a comprehensive strategy developed to help neighborhoods address crime and improve community safety. Given the breadth and scale of the BCJI program, the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) are seeking comprehensive information on the program’s place-based and community-oriented efforts to reduce crime and advance neighborhood revitalization. We propose a multi-method study to address two critical overall research goals: to understand successful implementation of BCJI, and to identify sites for a possible follow-up impact evaluation. There are four objectives to support the overall goals, including (1) reviewing all the BJCI grant sites from 2012 to 2015 using existing data and an existing web-based assessment tool, creating a typology based on context, planning, and implementation measures, and understanding which features are associated with successful implementation; (2) conducting in-depth process evaluations at 15 sites (chosen in consultation with NIJ and BJA) to understand how the BCJI grant program was implemented in the field, and measure how closely it followed both the BCJI model and the sites’ original BJA applications; (3) conducting an evaluability assessment of the chosen 15 sites to determine if conducting an outcome and impact evaluation of any of the sites likely would result in a positive return on investment in research funds; and (4) understanding how the BCJI TTA system was used to support the BCJI program goals and measuring its effectiveness. This project will provide a wealth of information to BJA and NIJ—as well as to researchers and practitioners in the field—about the BCJI program, helping to inform funding priorities and mechanisms. It will inform BCJI’s place-based and community-oriented efforts to reduce crime as part of a comprehensive strategy that includes neighborhood revitalization. Detailed evaluability information will inform future decision makers regarding the appropriateness and design of more formal site evaluations should BJA and NIJ desire them. We will disseminate our findings through several channels. In addition to the NIJ site visit reports, draft manuscripts will be submitted to academic and professional conferences on community crime prevention. Furthermore, in keeping with our focus on informing public policy, completed papers will be submitted to peer-reviewed journals. An additional step in the dissemination process is to archive the data for secondary analysis purposes at the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data at the University of Michigan’s Inter-University Consortium of Political and Social Research (ICPSR). ca/ncf
Date Created: September 25, 2016