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Envisioning the Future
Director Nancy Rodriguez speaks about her vision for NIJ, including her goals to put in place long-lasting changes that strengthen NIJ as an agency and ensure the impact of NIJ’s work in the field.
As director of NIJ, my goal is to measure the impact of our research. The knowledge that is generated from our scientific enterprises should advance science, be translated to the field and have a meaningful impact on policy and practice.
It is our job to be able to identify the multiple measures of impact that come about from our findings and our research, my goal is to institutionalize that perspective here at NIJ.
I am particularly interested in bringing together diverse perspectives and relying on the multi-disciplinary talents of researchers and practitioners. Numerous studies have found that innovation comes when individuals from different backgrounds and with different perspectives work together towards one common goal.
It's important for me to foster this diverse perspective in the questions that we ask, in the solicitations that we release, and of course the peer review process. This also means engaging with groups who are committed to reducing the number of justice involved populations.
I plan to take full advantage of the expertise in the academic community and professional associations. For example, I plan to work with the leadership of the American Society of Criminology, and the Academy of Criminal Justice Science to ensure that the innovations in science that are being produced by its membership fill our strategic priorities.
I also plan to strengthen our collaborations with our professional associations to rally around common goals to have more productive outcomes. I believe this strategy is more beneficial than working on independent piecemeal projects that may not be connected with one another.
I see several ways that NIJ can strengthen science in order to advance justice. First of all, we can align our strategic priorities with the priorities of our partners in the field and within the administration. The alignment will ensure that we are investing resources wisely. It is our job to produce evidence-based knowledge on issues that are important to the nation. Issues like building trust between police and the communities, addressing the collateral consequences of incarceration and keeping schools safe.
Another way that we can strengthen science is by investing in our NIJ scientists who are conducting intramural research and take full advantage and leverage the expertise that we have in house. Currently we have NIJ scientists who are convening workshops on an array of special issues like indigent defense, teen dating violence. In the future our NIJ scientists will be conducting evaluable assessments of programs for sister agencies and our federal partners. This will be happening alongside the extramural work that will be taking place throughout the country.
I am very committed to supporting young scholars who are eager and motivated to find solutions to criminal justice problems. NIJ has several programs to support young scholars, we have several that support graduate students and one particular fellowship, W.E.B Du Bois Fellowship, that supports young scholars who are interested in raised crime and justice.
I believe NIJ should be contributing in additional ways to the professional development of young scholars. By supporting young scholars of today, we strengthen the foundation of criminal justice research in the future.
Opinions or points of view expressed in these recordings represent those of the speakers and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice. Any commercial products and manufacturers discussed in these recordings are presented for informational purposes only and do not constitute product approval or endorsement by the U.S. Department of Justice.