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From the Director: Harnessing the Power of Data-Driven, Inclusive Research

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2022

Nancy La Vigne, Ph.D., Director of the National Institute of Justice, shares lessons learned from participatory research projects and elevates what she calls inclusive research. Inclusive research is intentional about involving those who are the experts on the topic. They could be patrol officers, investigators, victims, 911 dispatchers, service providers, arrestees, community members—the people are who are closest to the topic or situation that is being researched. While engaging these stakeholders in the research process can take many forms, it is crucial that researchers share the research findings with the people who helped generate them so that these findings can be interpreted and inform improvements in policies and practices. Ms. La Vigne said inclusive research has a long history of police-researcher partnerships in which police practitioners are consulted, at a minimum, and are, in some cases, full participants in the research process. She added that we have a long way to go in improving the nature of those partnerships. Recalibrating that relationship requires change. She said the best police-researcher partnerships are with researchers who care as much about informing improvements in policing and public safety as they do about publishing in top-tier academic journals. She also describes what is needed to improve these partnerships. 

Date Published: December 1, 2022