U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NIJ Marks 50 Years of Helping the Criminal Justice Community

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2018
2 pages
This feature article in the July-August 2018 issue of TECHBeat summarizes proceedings of a panel discussion involving two former National Institute of Justice (NIJ) directors and two law enforcement practitioners, who review the history and envision the future of NIJ on the occasion of its 50th Anniversary.
The panel was composed of James "CHIPS" Stewart, who served as NIJ director from 1982 to 1990; John H. Laub, who was NIJ director from July 2010 to January 2013; Chief Hank Stawinski, who became chief of the Prince George's County Police Department after 23 years of service; and Chief Scott Thomson of Camden County (New Jersey), who has been chief since 2013 after serving as chief of the former Camden Police Department beginning in 2008. The current NIJ director, Dr. David Muhlhausen gave opening remarks and moderated a brief question-and-answer session at the end of the panel discussion. He also presented a brief review of the origins of NIJ and some of the notable technologies and research impacts that stemmed from NIJ funding and leadership efforts. The two chiefs have experienced the benefits of the investment of NIJ resources in research and technology that has impacted policing; and the two former NIJ directors have been part of the evolution of NIJ's efforts to use its resources to improve public safety. Former NIJ director Laub characterized NIJ's mission as unique, as it faces the two-fold challenge of generating knowledge based on rigorous research and then disseminating relevant and usable knowledge to criminal justice practitioners to improve their effectiveness. The two law enforcement practitioners discussed their experiences in working with NIJ, noting how that collaboration assisted their departments in developing research-based policy decisions.

Date Published: August 1, 2018