The director of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) cites (1) examples of NIJ-sponsored research that have positively impacted criminal justice operations and (2) projected NIJ research topics.
NIJ has fostered cooperation between criminal justice researchers and practitioners and promoted research that informs criminal justice policy and practice. Through public hearings involving criminal justice leaders and public interest groups and the use of a national needs survey of 1,500 criminal justice practitioners, NIJ has mounted a research program oriented toward practitioner needs. Examples of NIJ-sponsored research are a police response time study that has helped departments to tailor police responses to the type of service call, tests that have established the kevlar vest as effective police body armor, a study that has demonstrated the value of urinalysis drug tests on arrestees to help guide pretrial decisions on arrestee management, and research that has shown the value of arrest in domestic assault cases. Other NIJ research has addressed an improved response to serial murders, reduction in citizens' fear of crime, sentencing guidelines, and court delay. Among future research topics are improved response to family violence, prison crowding, and long-term effects of victimization.