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National Institute of Justice (NIJ)

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The Evaluation of NIJ by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences: NIJ's Response

June, 2011

The National Academies conducted a comprehensive evaluation of the National Institute of Justice. This panel provides an overview of the evaluation and NIJ's response to it. NIJ has accepted many of the recommendations in the NRC report, and you will learn what the agency is doing to implement them. A few of the recommendations were challenging and created considerable debate within NIJ. Plans to address these thorny issues also are discussed.

Sexual Assault: Obtaining DNA From Evidence Collected up to a Week Later

June, 2009

Technological advances have made it possible to detect male DNA in evidentiary samples collected several days after a sexual act has taken place. Panelists will present the research that has led to these findings, followed by a discussion of the potential impact of this work from the perspectives of the sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) and the crime laboratory communities.

Domestic Violence Shelters: The Experience of the Survivor

June, 2009

Panelists will present findings from a comprehensive study of domestic violence shelters in eight states. Data were collected from 3,410 residents in 215 domestic violence shelters — 81 percent of the shelters. The first of its kind, this descriptive study seeks to fill a gap in current knowledge about the needs and experiences of domestic violence survivors who turn to shelters for help and the type of help they receive. Implications for policy and programming will also be addressed.

The State of the Police Field: A New Professionalism in Policing?

June, 2010

Panelists debate the premise of a Harvard Executive Session working paper that suggests police organizations are striving for a "new" professionalism. Leaders are endeavoring for stricter standards of efficiency and conduct, while also increasing their legitimacy to the public and encouraging innovation. Is this new? Will this idea lead to prematurely discarding community policing as a guiding philosophy?

"Sentinel Event" Review in the Criminal Justice System

January, 2014

Listen to James Doyle discuss the basics of a "sentinel event" review in the criminal justice system. This learning-from-error approach borrows from principles that medicine, aviation and other high-risk enterprises have successfully used. Former NIJ Fellow Doyle offers the basics to understand this innovative idea that takes a system-wide perspective of error, bringing all stakeholders together in a non-blaming, forward-looking way after a bad outcome, such as a wrongful conviction, occurs.

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.

Backlogs and Their Impact on the Criminal Justice System

June, 2010

Evidence backlogs have been known to be an issue in crime laboratories. A recent study published by NIJ has shown that backlogs of untested evidence are also an issue in law enforcement evidence storage. This panel will discuss the issues and present preliminary findings from a study of the Los Angeles Police Department's and Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's experience with clearing out a large backlog of unanalyzed rape kits.

Alternative Sentencing Policies for Drug Offenders

June, 2009

The panel presentations from the 2009 NIJ Conference are based on an NIJ-sponsored evaluation of the effectiveness of Kansas Senate Bill 123, which mandates community-based drug abuse treatment for drug possession by nonviolent offenders in lieu of prison. 

A View From the Street: Police Leaders Share Their Perspectives on Urgent Policy and Research Issues

June, 2010

Sponsored by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and its Research Advisory Committee (RAC), this panel unites law enforcement leaders from across the country to discuss their policy and research concerns. Charles Wellford, IACP RAC co-chair and University of Maryland professor, will facilitate the panel. Presenters will discuss urgent policing issues that merit ongoing research, law enforcement and academic research partnerships, and how research can and does affect agency policy and operations.

Are CEDs Safe and Effective?

June, 2010

Thousands of law enforcement agencies throughout the United States have adopted conducted energy devices (CEDs) as a safe method to subdue individuals, but are these devices really safe? What policies should agencies adopt to ensure the proper use of this technology? This NIJ Conference Panel discusses the physiological effects of electrical current in the human body caused by CEDs, as well as how this technology can reduce injuries to officers and suspects when appropriate policies and training are followed.

Cell Phones in Prison

June, 2010

Criminals are using cell phones illegally in prisons and jails to conduct their business and intimidate witnesses. Although technology solutions to this problem are available, they can create new challenges, such as legal and implementation issues associated with cell phone use in correctional facilities. Panelists will discuss various aspects to consider from how prisoners use cell phones, to day-to-day and operational aspects, to legal and regulatory concerns.

Familial DNA Searching: Issues and Answers

June, 2011

Familial DNA searching is the practice of creating new investigative leads in cases where DNA evidence found at the scene of a crime strongly resembles that of an existing DNA profile but is not an exact match. Panelists will explain how the technology works, provide examples of successful convictions obtained through familial searches, and discuss the various misconceptions and concerns regarding this practice.

Gang Membership Prevention

June, 2010

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and NIJ collaborated on a book that focuses on promising principles for gang membership prevention. This NIJ Conference Panel discusses the risk and protective factors that influence gang membership as well as efforts to reduce such factors. Panelists also explored the direction of gang research for the future.

International Organized Crime: Recent Developments in Policy and Research

June, 2010

Since 2008, DOJ has been reviewing its policies and programs on international organized crime, with the goal of strengthening law enforcement's response to this threat. In this NIJ Conference Panel, the speakers will explore how DOJ and other U.S. government agencies are responding to it. Attendees will learn more about the Attorney General's Organized Crime Council, the International Organized Crime Intelligence and Operations Center, and the recent National Intelligence Estimate on International Organized Crime.

Situational Approaches to Making Communities and Correction Institutions Safer

June, 2010

NIJ Conference panelists will present the results of three studies that applied situational crime prevention (SCP) principles: (1) an evaluation of the Safe City initiative in Chula Vista, Calif., designed to combine the expertise and resources of local law enforcement, retailers and the community to increase the safety of designated retail areas; (2) a randomized controlled trial (in partnership with the Washington Metro Transit Police) that assessed the effectiveness of SCP to reduce car crime in Metro's parking facilities; and (3) an evaluation of the impact of SCP on pr

Using License Plate Readers to Fight Crime

June, 2010

This is a joint panel of NIJ's Office of Research and Evaluation (ORE ) and Office of Science and Technology (OST). Panelists will discuss the latest efforts to implement license plate reader technology into policing operations. OST grantees will explain various aspects of the technology and an ORE grantee from the National Opinion Research Center will present findings from a study on the use of license plate readers to combat auto theft in Arizona.

Chicago Ceasefire

June, 2009

CeaseFire is an evidence-based, data-driven intervention designed to stop shootings and killings in high-incidence neighborhoods by directly intervening with those who are most likely to be involved in a shooting and by building support for alternatives to violence in those neighborhoods. Panel members will share their experiences “on the ground” mediating conflicts and working one-on-one with high-risk individuals.