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Winnie Reed - More Than 40 Years of Contributions to NIJ

NCJ Number
Date Published
Nancy Ritter
Publication Series
NIJ Journal
This article is the transcript of the author’s interview with Winnie Reed upon her retirement after nearly 42 years with the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), serving for the last two-plus years as Director of the Crime, Violence, and Victimization Research Division in NIJ’s Office of Research and Evaluation.
Ms. Reed discusses her first job at NIJ, her motivation to take the job, and the kinds of changes she has seen in criminal justice over the past four decades. Among the changes she mentions are the expansion of technology transfer in the criminal justice field; the expanding use of DNA in solving crimes; and the growth of the crime victims movement, particularly regarding female victims. Another topic discussed in the interview is the importance of evaluation in determining the cost effectiveness of existing and pilot programs, so that the impact of programs can be measured and ways to improve program effectiveness are identified. Ms. Reed comments on some of the evaluations in which she was involved. Some of the challenges she mentions for the future are the development of more detailed and comprehensive data on crime and the development of more effective diversion programs. Two NIJ projects that stand out in her mind are the studies of police officer fatigue and shift length and research in Indian Country. When asked if she would have done anything differently, she wondered if she might have been more insightful and effective at NIJ if she had been a police officer or probation officer in front-line work before coming to NIJ. What will she miss most about her work at NIJ? The people and the feeling of being part of an effort committed to constant improvement in the policies and operations of the criminal justice system.
Date Created: March 3, 2014