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In 2004, the National Institute of Justice created the social science research on forensic sciences (SSRFS) research program to explore the impact of forensic sciences on the criminal justice system and the administration of justice. Much of the early research from the SSRFS program focused on DNA processing and the use of DNA in investigations and prosecutions.
Across the country, child welfare and juvenile justice systems now recognize that youth involved in both systems (i.e., dual system youth) are a vulnerable population who often go unrecognized because of challenges in information-sharing and cross system collaboration. In light of these challenges, national incidence rates of dual system youth are not known.
Delinquency, Victimization, and the Developing Brain: Results from the ABCD-Social Development Study
The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development – Social Development Study (ABCD-SD) is a longitudinal study on the relationship between the developing brain and delinquency and victimization. Supplementing ABCD brain and cognitive development measures, ABCD-SD protocol measures a wide array of delinquency- and victimization-related risks, protective factors and outcomes. These presentations will describe early adolescent findings from ABCD-SD on delinquency and victimization.
How prepared are schools for emergencies? Dr. Silva discusses her NIJ-funded research that looked at whether or not federal guidelines were reaching schools; the levels of emergency preparedness at the state, district, and school level; what we can learn from well-prepared schools, both best practices and challenges.
NIJ’s American Indian and Alaska Native Travel Scholarship Program Scholars discuss:
- Why they applied to the program.
- Which conference they chose to attend and why.
- Why representation of American Indian and Alaska Native is important in the field of criminal justice.
- What conference sessions they chose to attend and which they found most interesting.
- How they want to contribute to the fields of tribal and criminal justice.
Sergeant Jason Moran of the Cook County (IL) Sheriff’s Office discusses the current situation of cold cases in the United States, why it’s important to establish cold case units, how current tools and technology can help solve cold cases, and what National Institute of Justice resources are available to assist in solving cold cases.
Sergeant Moran was a participant on an NIJ Saturday Session panel at IACP 2019.
Antoinette Tull, Human Resources Division Chief, Richmond (VA) PD, discusses how law enforcement recruitment and retention strategies have changed in recent years, new retention strategies to attract millennial recruits, what retention strategies budget restricted agencies can consider implementing, and how NIJ can play a role in researching or evaluating strategies for recruitment and retention.
Antoinette Tull was a participant on an NIJ Saturday Session panel at IACP 2019.
John Violanti, research professor at University at Buffalo’s School of Public Health and Health Professions; Wendy Stiver, major at the Dayton (Ohio) Police Department; and Dan Grupe, associate scientist at University of Wisconsin’s Center for Healthy Minds discuss what they believe law enforcement leadership should focus on when dealing with officer health and wellness. This includes identifying trauma and warning signs for suicide, utilizing a “preventive maintenance” approach to the health and wellness of officers, and finding ways that can help officers deal with everyday stressors.
Panelists from the National Institute of Justice’s Research for the Real World seminar, “Protecting Against Stress & Trauma: Research Lessons for Law Enforcement,” provide their opinions on what they hope people will take away from the event. These takeaways are managing officer expectations at the academy level for the stress and trauma that they could face on the job and sharing research resources on officer resiliency with law enforcement agencies.
John Violanti, research professor at University at Buffalo’s School of Public Health and Health Professions; Wendy Stiver, major at the Dayton (Ohio) Police Department; and Dan Grupe, associate scientist at University of Wisconsin’s Center for Healthy Minds, speak about how the law enforcement culture of not showing weakness might deter some officers from getting help if they are suffering from mental health issues. The subject matter experts recommend listening to officers and conveying that it’s okay to express emotions.
Bullying prevention is an important aspect of school safety. During this webinar, co-sponsored by NIJ and the Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention, renowned bullying prevention researchers will share information schools can use to address bullying. This information will include helping teachers respond to bullying in the classroom and giving students who see bullying tools to take action to address it.
What changes are you seeing in corrections and reentry?
Terri McDonald, chief probation officer, Los Angeles County Probation Department and John Wetzel, secretary of corrections, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections talk about recent changes in corrections and reentry. Wetzel elaborates on what the Pennsylvania DOC is facilitating with housing and how it individualizes its reentry programs. McDonald remarks on Los Angeles County’s systems approach to reentry and the idea of treating the whole person.
Alix McLearen, Ph.D., acting assistant director, Reentry Services Division, Federal Bureau of Prisons and John Wetzel, secretary of corrections, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections discuss programs and services that their agencies offer to help individuals overcome the challenges encountered when leaving incarceration. These various programs and services address the individuals’ needs in areas such as physical and mental health, addiction, education, vocation, and life skills.
How do you use data and science to measure program success?
John Wetzel, secretary of corrections, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections and Grant Duwe, Ph.D., director of research and evaluation, Minnesota Department of Corrections explain how their agencies evaluate programs using data and science. Duwe details how the most effective programs provided by the Minnesota DOC have been those that focus on known risk factors for recidivism.
Numerous states and hundreds of municipalities have laws restricting the location of a convicted sex offender's residence. Little is known about the effectiveness of these restrictions. Do they keep children safer or give a false sense of safety? Some people suggest these laws are driven by media attention to a few cases. Others believe they are not grounded in research.
At this Research for the Real World seminar, NIJ brought together law enforcement practitioners and leading researchers in the field of stress to discuss the current research evidence and practical benefits of targeted stress-management interventions and how they can promote officer mental wellness.