NIJ Journal Issue: 259 Dated: March 2008 Pages: 1-44
This NIJ Journal reports on specific research funded by the U.S Justice Department's National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and NIJ's research program in general.
One study found that although prospective jurors who regularly view television programs that feature crime scene investigations have high expectations for the quality and volume of evidence presented in court, this does not lead to a reluctance to convict when evidence may not meet these expectations. A second article reports on the testing of two voice-stress-analysis (VSA) systems used to detect deception in self-reports of recent drug use. The testing found they were no more accurate in detecting deception than flipping a coin; however, the fact of their use apparently had a deterrent effect in producing greater truthfulness than was found in a control group that did not use a VSA system. A third article reports on a nationwide survey of the security status of shopping malls in the post-9/11 period. Little change in security was found, and suggestions are offered for a strategy to improve mall security. Another article touts the benefits of software-defined-radio (SDR) systems, which enable upgrades through software that can be installed in existing radios. Challenges for further SDR developments are being met through NIJ-funded research. An article reports the findings of studies of prison rape, which have focused on victim and offender profiles and how inmate sexual assault is viewed in the inmate culture. An "In Memoriam" article addresses the work of Paul Cascarano, whose 30-year career with NIJ spearheaded NIJ's efforts to fund criminal justice research and disseminate its findings throughout the criminal justice community. The concluding article reports on lessons from two studies that compared the costs and performance of privately run and publicly run correctional facilities.
Date Published: March 1, 2008