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Highlights and Lowlights of Researcher-Practitioner Collaborations in the Criminal Justice System, Findings from the Researcher-Practitioner Partnerships Study (RPPS)

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2013
7 pages
As part of the Researcher-Practitioner Partnerships Study (RPPS), a Web-based survey of criminal justice State Administrative Agencies (SAAs) was conducted to learn how the infrastructure of SAAs allows them to conduct research and support researcher-practitioner collaborations, as well as how SAAs are impacting the criminal justice system through research findings.
SAAs were found to have educated, experienced staff that can analyze data and conduct research; and they recognize the importance of research evidence in informing their mission. In addition, the survey found that collaborations between SAAs and researchers outside of the criminal justice system are common. This is because SAAs have determined there is a need for such collaboration in the context of researchers analyzing criminal justice data. In seeking research collaborators, SAAs have focused on those with experience or a working knowledge of the criminal justice system, so as to ensure that findings are relevant and useful to criminal justice operations. Available funding has been a key factor in SAAs' developing a research-practitioner collaboration. In addition to lack of funding, time restrictions and bureaucratic "red tape" have been the greatest barriers in SAAs' development of research collaboration. Also, differences in opinion/approach with researchers were present in just over 70 percent of practitioner respondents. Although most SAAs acknowledge the importance of using research evidence to inform their mission, collaborations have not produced many meaningful, practical products. Suggestions are offered for how SAAs can improve the number and usefulness of researcher-practitioner research projects. 2 references

Date Published: January 1, 2013