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Evidence-based practices

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Perspectives on Research and Evidence-Based Policing

Every year, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) supports 30 midcareer, research-minded law enforcement professionals to take part in professional development and travel opportunities, network, and contribute to the policing and research communities through the Law Enforcement Advancing Data and Science (LEADS) Scholars program. The LEADS scholars are both practitioners and researchers. They work in the field while simultaneously striving to evaluate and improve the work done in their departments.

Perspectives on Research and Evidence-Based Policing

Every year, NIJ supports 30 midcareer, research-minded law enforcement professionals to take part in professional development and travel opportunities, network, and contribute to the policing and research communities through the Law Enforcement Advancing Data and Science (LEADS) Scholars program. The LEADS scholars are both practitioners and researchers. They work in the field while simultaneously striving to evaluate and improve the work done in their departments.

Incorporating Research and Data Into Criminal Justice Agencies - NIJ LEADS Alumni Spotlight

March 2020

Sergeant Jeffery Egge of the Minneapolis Police Department, and NIJ LEADS Scholar alum, discusses his experience with leads including how the program benefited his agency and his use of date to address gun violence and the opioid epidemic and the city's sentinel events review of overdose fatalities. Sergeant Egge also discusses his current work looking at investigative closures.

NIJ LEADS Program Increases Research Capabilities of Law Enforcement Officers

October 2019

This video, produced for IACPTV, provides an overview of the NIJ Law Enforcement Advancing Data and Science (LEADS) program. NIJ LEADS Scholars from Dayton and Newark police departments provide an overview of the LEADS program as they describe their projects and experiences working in the program.

Hear from LEADS scholars Major Wendy Stiver, Dayton Police Department, and Captain Ivonne Roman, Newark Police Department.

Protecting Against Stress & Trauma: Research Lessons for Law Enforcement– Defining the Problem

October 2019
At this Research for the Real World seminar, NIJ brought together law enforcement practitioners and leading researchers in the field of stress to discuss the current research evidence and practical benefits of targeted stress-management interventions and how they can promote officer mental wellness. In addition, this gathering provided an exploration into what additional research is needed to best support officer health and wellness, potentially highlighting priority areas for future research.

Notes From the Field

Those working in the criminal justice system should always use research and evidence to inform their policies, practices, and work. However, leaders often need to make decisions based on limited information and under unpredictable or even volatile circumstances. Sometimes there simply isn’t research available yet to help inform decisions on emerging issues.

State Responses to Mass Incarceration

June 2011

Researchers have devoted considerable attention to mass incarceration, specifically its magnitude, costs, and collateral consequences. In the face of economic constraints, strategies to reduce correctional populations while maintaining public safety are becoming a fiscal necessity. This panel will present strategies that states have undertaken to reduce incarceration rates while balancing taxpayer costs with ensuring public safety.

The Neurobiology of Sexual Assault: Implications for Law Enforcement, Prosecution, and Victim Advocacy

December 2012

Dr. Campbell brings together research on the neurobiology of trauma and the criminal justice response to sexual assault. She explains the underlying neurobiology of traumatic events, its emotional and physical manifestation, and how these processes can impact the investigation and prosecution of sexual assaults. Real-world, practical implications are examined for first responders, such as law enforcement, nurses, prosecutors, and advocates.

Try Again, Fail Again, Fail Better: Lessons from Community Courts

April 2011

Change doesn't come easy, particularly within an institution as large and complex as the criminal justice system. Greg Berman, Director of the Center for Court Innovation, offered lessons from several efforts to make reform stick in criminal justice settings. In particular, he focused on the development of community courts — experimental court projects that are attempting to reduce both crime and incarceration in dozens of cities across the U.S. and around the world.

Violent Repeat Victimization: Prospects and Challenges for Research and Practice

April 2012

Research tells us that a relatively small fraction of individuals experience a large proportion of violent victimizations. Thus, focusing on reducing repeat victimization might have a large impact on total rates of violence. However, research also tells us that most violent crime victims do not experience more than one incident during a six-month or one-year time period. As a result, special policies to prevent repeat violence may not be cost-effective for most victims.

Nurse-Family Partnerships: From Trials to International Replication

January 2010

David Olds, founder of the Nurse-Family Partnership Program, describes the programs long-term impact on mothers and babies who began participating in the program more than 19 years ago. The Nurse-Family Partnership maternal health program introduces vulnerable first-time parents to maternal and child health nurses. It allows nurses to deliver the support first-time moms need to have a healthy pregnancy, become knowledgeable and responsible parents, and provide their babies and later children and young adults with the best possible start in life.

From the Academy to Retirement: A Journey Through the Policing Lifecycle

December 2009

Professor Rosenbaum and a panel of colleagues discuss a study to demonstrate the feasibility of creating a foundation from which to launch studies about multiple aspects of policing using standardized definitions and measurement tools. Their goal is to advance knowledge about policing and translate data into evidence-based best practices that improve training, supervision and accountability systems. The effort is expected to produce a better understanding of what motivates police officers and makes them healthier, happier and more effective.

Changing the Behavior of Drug-Involved Offenders: Supervision That Works

December 2012

A small number of offenders who are heavily involved in drugs commit a large portion of the crime in this country. An evaluation of a "smart supervision" effort in Hawaii that uses swift and certain sanctioning showed that heavily involved drug offenders can indeed change their behavior when the supervision is properly implemented.

Addiction, the Brain, and Evidence-Based Treatment

March 2012

The criminal justice system encounters and supervises a large number of drug abusing persons. Punishment alone is a futile and ineffective response to the problem of drug abuse. Addiction is a chronic brain disease with a strong genetic component that in most instances requires treatment. Involvement in the criminal justice system provides a unique opportunity to treat drug abuse disorders and related health conditions, thereby improving public health and safety.

Homicide in the United States

June 2009

The 2009 NIJ Conference kicked off with a blue-ribbon panel of leaders with expertise in urban issues as they relate to homicide. These experts will discuss promising approaches that have resulted in reduced violence and community empowerment.