This 2018 Annual Report of the U.S. Justice Department’s National Institute of Justice (NIJ) presents NIJ’s 2018 activities under the following topics: preventing and reducing crime, law enforcement, corrections, forensic science, supporting crime victims, improving the criminal justice system, and highlights of dissemination.
NIJ is the research, development, and evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice. It is dedicated to improving knowledge and understanding of crime and justice issues through science. NIJ provides objective and independent knowledge and tools to inform the decisionmaking of the criminal justice community in reducing crime and advancing justice, particularly at the state and local levels. It leverages the expertise of both researchers and those working within the criminal justice system. NIJ Investments in science enable criminal justice policymakers and practitioners to better understand the challenges facing the U.S. criminal Justice system and develop and test the effectiveness of efforts to improve it. In the area of preventing and reducing crime, NIJ has focused its resources on understanding radicalization to terrorist ideologies, addressing violence against women, using artificial intelligence (AI) technology, using modern methods to detect new illicit drugs, understanding policing strategies, and addressing human trafficking. NIJ resources for law enforcement have included the protection of public safety personnel and the development of National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Centers. NIJ resources for corrections have addressed the improvement of offender reentry into the community and research and evaluation to improve the effectiveness of corrections services. NIJ resources for forensic science have been used to enhance DNA capacity and reduce backlogs in DNA testing, as well as provide national forensic science improvement grants. In other areas, NIJ has sought to improve services to crime victims and initiate improvements in the effectiveness of the criminal justice system.