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Challenges of Crime and Justice: The View From the National Institute of Justice

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 1996
11 pages
This conference presentation reviewed the role of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) in crime prevention and strategic challenges faced by the NIJ.
In 1996, the actual budget of the NIJ totaled $99 million, much of which has been invested in research. The NIJ is concerned with evaluating crime initiatives, such as placing additional police officers on the streets, changes in society's approach to domestic violence as a result of the Violence Against Women Act, and State reactions to Federal legislation that offers funds for prison construction if truth in sentencing laws are adopted. The 1994 Crime Act has given the NIJ an important opportunity to evaluate local crime prevention initiatives and to develop research partnerships between police departments, corrections departments, sentencing commissions, and the academic community. Five strategic challenges for the NIJ as the year 2000 approaches are identified: (1) rethink criminal justice; (2) understand the nexus between crime, drugs, guns, alcohol, gangs, and economic development; (3) break the cycle of crime and drugs; (4) create the tools needed by crime prevention practitioners; and (5) expand horizons beyond traditional boundaries to develop a full understanding of crime and criminal justice issues. NIJ research projects related to each of these strategic challenges are described.

Date Published: January 1, 1996