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A Sexual Assault Kit Partnership

November 2015
NIJ Office of Investigative and Forensic Sciences Director Gerald LaPorte and Deputy Director Heather Waltke, along with Heather LaSalle, Forensic Examiner, DNA Casework Unit, and Tina Delgado, Chief, Biometrics Division from the FBI Laboratory discuss why the NIJ-FBI Sexual Assault Kit Partnership was created and how the partnership plans to shed light on the complexities of sexual assault cases, particularly kits that

How Reliable Are Latent Fingerprint Examiners?

September 2015

Brian Cerchiai discusses a NIJ-supported a study conducted by the Miami-Dade Police Department on the accuracy of fingerprint examiners. The study found that fingerprint examiners make extremely few errors. Even when examiners did not get an independent second opinion about their decisions, they were remarkably accurate. But when decisions were verified by an independent reviewers, examiners had a 0% false positive, or incorrect identification, rate and a 3% false negative, or missed identification, rate.

Discussing the Future of Justice-Involved Young Adults

September 2015

New science in brain development is transforming young adult involvement with the justice system. On Tuesday, September 8, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Assistant Attorney General Karol Mason, and experts from NIJ and the Harvard Kennedy School Program in Criminal Justice who serve on the Executive Session on Community Corrections discussed the future of justice-involved young adults.

Strengthening Law Enforcement-Community Relations

September 2015

In this Research for the Real World seminar, forward-looking figures in the law enforcement community examine how law enforcement can be improved through the adoption of community-minded policies.

U.S. Partners with Kenya Wildlife Service to Protect Wildlife

September 2015

The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Counterterrorism and the National Institute of Justice have partnered with the Kenya Wildlife Service to provide low cost aircraft to assist in the protection of Kenya wildlife. NIJ will take the lessons learned in Kenya to apply to state, local and tribal law enforcement in the United States. The project is funded through the U.S. Department of State counter-terrorism fund.

Envisioning the Future

July 2015

Director Nancy Rodriguez speaks about her vision for NIJ, including her goals to put in place long-lasting changes that strengthen NIJ as an agency and ensure the impact of NIJ’s work in the field.

Body Worn Cameras: Research Underway at NIJ

June 2015

Body worn camera technology has been at the forefront of the national discussion on policing. NIJ Director Nancy Rodriguez discusses how there is currently little science-based guidance to help for law enforcement officials decide whether and how to use body worn cameras in their jurisdictions. Rodriguez highlights how NIJ is supporting research, including projects in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, to evaluate the use and impact of body worn cameras.

The Real World of Dating Violence in Adolescence and Young Adulthood: A Longitudinal Portrait

September 2014

In this seminar, Dr. Peggy Giordano of Bowling Green State University presents preliminary findings from the Toledo Adolescent Relationships Study (TARS), a thirteen-year longitudinal study examining the lives of young people transitioning into adulthood. In this study, Dr. Giordano led a team of researchers who performed five waves of structured in-home surveys paired with in-depth qualitative interviews with a subset of respondents who had experienced violence within the context of their dating relationships.

Understanding Teen Dating Violence; Peggy Giordano, Ph.D.

September 2014

Dr. Peggy Giordano discusses her research on what characterizes teen dating violence and how it changes over time. Dr. Giordano also talks about how conflict over key areas within a relationship can increase the risk of violence.

Opening the Black Box of NIBIN

July 2014

Bill King discusses the operations of the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN), a program through which firearms examiners at state and local crime laboratories compare tool marks on fired bullets or cartridges found at a crime scene to digitized images of ballistic evidence in a nationwide database.

Notifying Sexual Assault Victims When Evidence Is Tested

April 2014

April 2014

Interview with Dr. Noël Busch-Armendariz, Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin

Watch Dr. Noël Busch-Armendariz discuss what Houston is learning about the role of notifying sexual assault victims when their rape kits are DNA-tested. In talking about the nationwide implications of the Houston action-research project, Dr. Busch-Armendariz says that the nation is ready to move beyond a focus solely on kit-testing to the larger discussion of how to tackle the complicated issue of sexual assault.

The Importance of Victim Cooperation in Solving Sexual Assaults

April 2014

April 2014

Interview with Dr. Bill Wells, Ph.D., Sam Houston State University

Watch Bill Wells discuss the problem of unsubmitted sexual assault kits in Houston, including some lessons learned to-date. Dr. Wells also talks about the crucial role of victim cooperation in solving sexual assault cases and the Houston Police Department's hiring of a justice advocate to improve investigations.

Why Were So Many Sexual Assault Kits Not Tested in Detroit?

April 2014

Watch Rebecca Campbell discuss the five primary reasons that Detroit developed a large number of sexual assault kits that were not submitted to the crime lab for DNA-testing. Dr. Campbell also talks about how these risk factors" could apply to other jurisdictions.

Houston Creates a Hotline, Hires Justice Advocate to Help Solve Sexual Assaults

April 2014

Watch Caitlin Sulley discuss how action-research team in Houston went about making the action-research project investigating unsubmitted sexual assault kits in Houston as victim-oriented as possible. Ms. Sulley talks about the creation of a hotline for sexual assault victims to call and the police department's hiring of a justice advocate.

Consequences of a Prison Record for Employment

February 2014

Dr. Decker gave a seminar in NIJ's Research for the Real World series about his research on the impact of race, gender and prison records on finding employment.

Before the seminar, we sat down with Dr. Decker for an interview to discuss his findings and their policy implications.

"Sentinel Event" Review in the Criminal Justice System

January 2014

Listen to James Doyle discuss the basics of a "sentinel event" review in the criminal justice system. This learning-from-error approach borrows from principles that medicine, aviation and other high-risk enterprises have successfully used. Former NIJ Fellow Doyle offers the basics to understand this innovative idea that takes a system-wide perspective of error, bringing all stakeholders together in a non-blaming, forward-looking way after a bad outcome, such as a wrongful conviction, occurs.

Why Is the United States the Most Homicidal Nation in the Affluent World?

December 2013

Ohio State University Since World War II, the homicide rate in the U.S. has been three to ten times higher than in Canada, Western Europe, and Japan. This, however, has not always been the case. What caused the dramatic change? Dr. Roth discussed how and why rates of different kinds of homicide have varied across time and space over the past 450 years, including an examination of the murder of children by parents or caregivers, intimate partner violence, and homicides among unrelated adults.

Second Chance Act: What Have We Learned About Reentry Programs So Far?

June 2013

Interview with Ron D'Amico, Social Policy Research Associates. Offender reentry into the community is a pressing social problem. The number of inmates released every year from the nation's prisons increased fourfold over the past three decades.

Since the Second Chance Act (SCA) was passed in 2008, more than $250 million has been awarded to government agencies and non-profits for programs to help offenders successfully reenter society. NIJ is doing an in-depth study of 10 sites to determine the effectiveness of these reentry programs.

Wrongful Convictions: The Latest Scientific Research & Implications for Law Enforcement

March 2013

What does science tell us about case factors that can lead to a wrongful conviction? Dr. Jon Gould of American University will discuss the findings of the first large-scale empirical study that has identified ten statistically significant factors that distinguish a wrongful conviction from a "near miss." (A "near miss" is a case in which an innocent defendant was acquitted or had charges dismissed before trial). Following Dr. Gould's presentation, Mr. John R.

Erroneous Convictions in Criminal Justice

March 2013

Interview with Jon Gould, Ph.D., Director of the Washington Institute for Public and International Affairs Research, American University.

Dr. Gould discusses:

  • Bottom line findings from the study "Predicting Erroneous Convictions: A Social Science Approach to Miscarriages of Justice"
  • Ten statistically significant factors related to wrongful convictions
  • The role of systemic error and tunnel vision

Lone Wolf Terrorism in America

February 2013

Interview with Mark Hamm, Ph.D., Indiana State University

Dr. Hamm is studying lone wolf terrorism in the United States and how such terrorists become radicalized. In this interview, Hamm explains the difference between mass violence and terrorism and discusses the ways in which many lone wolf terrorists use public forums to broadcast their intent to commit terrorist acts.

Community Policing Strategies for Countering Violent Extremism

February 2013

February 2013
Interview with David Schanzer, J.D., Associate Professor, Duke University and Director, Triangle Center of Terrorism and Homeland Security

Mr. Schanzer discusses his study of community policing strategies for countering violent extremism. Schanzer points out that there is a wide variety of terrorist ideologies from religious, to environmental, to economic. He is hoping to discover if particular community policing strategies are more effective in countering certain types of terrorism and building resilience against extremism.

Empirical Assessment of Domestic Radicalization

February 2013

Interview with Gary Ackerman, Director for Special Projects, National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, University of Maryland

Mr. Ackerman is conducting an empirical assessment of domestic radicalization, with an emphasis on the process of radicalization. In this interview, Ackerman explains how he is using large empirical analysis and small scale life study analysis to discover which factors might cause an individual to make the leap from illegal terrorist behavior to violent terrorist behavior.