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Using Random Forest Risk Prediction in the Philadelphia Probation Department

August, 2012

Geoff Barnes, Ph.D., and Jordan Hyatt, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, Jerry Lee Center of Criminology

Watch two experts talk about developing a computerized system that successfully predicts — with a high degree of accuracy — which probationers are likely to violently reoffend within two years of returning to the community.

Drs. Barnes and Hyatt teamed up with the Philadelphia Adult Probation & Parole Department in an NIJ-funded project. Here they discuss:

Protecting our Protectors: Using Science to Improve Officer Safety and Wellness

June, 2012

Each year, 100-200 law enforcement officers die in the line of duty. Last year, 177 lost their lives — a 16-percent increase from 2010. As Attorney General Eric Holder noted, this is a devastating and unacceptable trend. NIJ has developed a robust research portfolio to improve officer safety and wellness and, ultimately, save lives. This panel discussed some of NIJ's most promising work to reduce shooting and traffic-related fatalities — consistently the leading causes of officer line-of-duty deaths — and improve officer wellness, which is inextricably linked with officer safety.

Ballistic-Resistant Vest Standards

June, 2012

In this interview, Deanna Rivard discusses how agencies can get help funding body armor, work on improving the fit of body armor and the importance of wearing it.

Looking Back to See the Future of Prison Downsizing in America

June, 2012

NIJ Conference Keynote Address

The recent declines in U.S. prison populations have caused many reformers to suggest that America's experiment with mass incarceration is ending. But current prison downsizing policies may well backfire if we fail to heed the lessons learned from the intermediate sanctions movement of the 1990s. In the event attendees rated highest, Dr. Petersilia summarizes these lessons and discussed why we must consider them if we want to reverse — for good — four decades of prison expansion.

Game Change: How Researcher-Practitioner Partnerships Are Redefining How We Study Crime

June, 2012

Opening Plenary Panel
When researchers and practitioners work side by side, they can maximize their problem-solving abilities. The research partner can focus on the data and the science; the practitioner can focus on interpreting the findings and applying them in the field. In the plenary panel, panelists described the benefits, challenges and pitfalls of researcher-practitioner partnerships with a focus on the financial benefits to the practitioner.

Moderator: John H. Laub, Director, National Institute of Justice

Panelists:

Effects of Wrongful Conviction Cases

June, 2012

NIJ has funded a study examining the impact of wrongful convictions on crime victims. The study is looking at the impact on the original victim of the crime to get a better understanding of what their service needs are, and how we can better serve them both in terms of policy and practice.

Violent Repeat Victimization: Prospects and Challenges for Research and Practice

April, 2012

Research tells us that a relatively small fraction of individuals experience a large proportion of violent victimizations. Thus, focusing on reducing repeat victimization might have a large impact on total rates of violence. However, research also tells us that most violent crime victims do not experience more than one incident during a six-month or one-year time period. As a result, special policies to prevent repeat violence may not be cost-effective for most victims.

Addiction, the Brain, and Evidence-Based Treatment

March, 2012

The criminal justice system encounters and supervises a large number of drug abusing persons. Punishment alone is a futile and ineffective response to the problem of drug abuse. Addiction is a chronic brain disease with a strong genetic component that in most instances requires treatment. Involvement in the criminal justice system provides a unique opportunity to treat drug abuse disorders and related health conditions, thereby improving public health and safety.

Economical Crime Control: Perspectives from Both Sides of the Ledger

December, 2011

The surge in incarceration since 1980 has been fueled in part by the mistaken belief that the population can be divided neatly into "good guys" and "bad guys." In fact, crime rates are not determined by the number of at-large criminals, any more than farm production is determined by the number of farmers. Crime is a choice, a choice that is influenced by available opportunities as much as by character. This perspective, drawn from economic theory, supports a multi-faceted approach to crime control. Dr.

The Importance of Research on Race, Crime and Punishment

July, 2011

Lawrence Bobo, Harvard University, delivers the Keynote Address at the NIJ Conference 2011. His speech "The Importance of Research on Race, Crime and Punishment" underscores the importance of continuing to undertake the research and policy-based efforts necessary to decouple the nexus of race, crime, and punishment that defines our social landscape.

The Evaluation of NIJ by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences: NIJ's Response

June, 2011

The National Academies conducted a comprehensive evaluation of the National Institute of Justice. This panel provides an overview of the evaluation and NIJ's response to it. NIJ has accepted many of the recommendations in the NRC report, and you will learn what the agency is doing to implement them. A few of the recommendations were challenging and created considerable debate within NIJ. Plans to address these thorny issues also are discussed.

Familial DNA Searching: Issues and Answers

June, 2011

Familial DNA searching is the practice of creating new investigative leads in cases where DNA evidence found at the scene of a crime strongly resembles that of an existing DNA profile but is not an exact match. Panelists will explain how the technology works, provide examples of successful convictions obtained through familial searches, and discuss the various misconceptions and concerns regarding this practice.

Translating Science: A Town Hall on the Challenges

June, 2011

NIJ Conference Plenary Panel

Wednesday's plenary brought together the leaders of several federal science agencies for a discussion about the challenges of using scientific discoveries to shape policy and practice.

How Collaboration Between Researchers and Police Chiefs Can Improve the Quality of Sexual Assault Investigations: A Look at Los Angeles

June, 2011

Panelists discuss the application of research findings from an NIJ-sponsored study of sexual assault attrition to police practice in Los Angeles. There are three main focal points: (1) the mutual benefits of researcher/practitioner partnerships, (2) the implications of variation in police interpretation of UCR guidelines specific to clearing sexual assault (with an emphasis on cases involving nonstrangers), and (3) the content of specialized training that must be required for patrol officers and detectives who respond to and investigate sex crimes.

Partnerships: Coming Together to Study Crime & Solutions

June, 2011

John H. Laub, Director, National Institute of Justice

This is the second in a series of conversations with John Laub discussing the most recent efforts by the National Institute of Justice to build stronger ties with the Bureau of Justice Statistics to solve crime problems.

Crimesolutions.gov: What Works" in Criminal Justice

June, 2011

In this interview conducted at the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Conference 2011, Edward Latessa, Ph.D., University of Cincinnati, discusses the substantial impact of the Crimesolutions.gov website on criminal justice, juvenile justice, and crime victim services.

Human Factors in Latent Print Examination

June, 2011

The NIJ-sponsored Expert Working Group on Human Factors in Latent Print Analysis is clarifying potential sources of error in pattern recognition analysis. It will develop best practices to remove or minimize these sources. NIJ is addressing recommendations in the 2009 National Academy of Sciences' report titled "Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward." Specifically, the panelists focus on recommendation 5, which encourages research programs on human observer bias and sources of human error in forensic examinations.

The National Broadband (Communications) Plan: Issues for Public Safety

June, 2011

The Federal Communications Commission delivered the National Broadband Plan in March 2010. As part of the plan, the FCC proposed a strategy for implementing a national public safety broadband network that would allow public safety responders anywhere in the nation to send and receive critical voice, video and data to save lives, reduce injuries, and prevent acts of crime and terror. How this strategy is implemented will have a significant impact on criminal justice and other public safety agencies nationwide, both with respect to operational capability and to resources.

Action Research and the Community to Criminal Justice Feedback Loop

June, 2011

In this interview conducted at the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Conference 2011, Edward Davis, Police Commissioner of the Boston Police Department, Massachusetts, discusses action research, including the successful use of violence reduction teams, and building trust between the community and the criminal justice field.

10th Anniversary of 9/11: Advances in Social Sciences

June, 2011

Gary LaFree, Director of the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism at the University of Maryland

The tragedy of 9/11 posed unprecedented challenges to forensic science, social science, and physical science and technology — the three bedrock sciences at NIJ. Recovering from the attack and preventing another one have became topmost priorities in the 10 years since the attack. As we approach the 10th anniversary, Gary LaFree discusses how that fateful day impacted social scientific priorities and the outcomes from those changes.