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Research centers

Expanding Research to Examine the Impacts of Forensic Science on the Criminal Justice System

December 2020

In 2004, the National Institute of Justice created the social science research on forensic sciences (SSRFS) research program to explore the impact of forensic sciences on the criminal justice system and the administration of justice. Much of the early research from the SSRFS program focused on DNA processing and the use of DNA in investigations and prosecutions.

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.

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.

Children as Citizens: Engaging Adolescents in Research on Exposure to Violence

January 2011

Since the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989, great strides have been made in the areas of child protection and advocacy. However, the concept of children, and specifically adolescents, as functional and engaged citizens has also emerged. Through the guidance and recognition of adults, children can participate in deliberative democracy as legitimate and competent citizens. This citizenship, like that of adults, can be used to enrich and improve local communities by creating a sense of ownership and fairness. Dr.

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.

Legitimacy and Community Cooperation With Law Enforcement

August 2009

Tom R. Tyler, chair of the New York University psychology department, describes research on profiling and community policing. His research found that citizens of all races show greater respect for law enforcement when they believe officers are treating them fairly. Even citizens who experienced a negative outcome getting a traffic ticket, for example showed higher levels of respect for and cooperation with law enforcement as long as they believed they were not being singled out unfairly.

Going Home (or Not): How Residential Change Might Help Former Offenders Stay Out of Prison

October 2011

Dr. Kirk discusses how Hurricane Katrina affected ex-prisoners originally from New Orleans and their likelihood of returning to prison. Kirk also discussed potential strategies for fostering residential change among ex-prisoners, focusing specifically on parole residency policies and the provision of public housing vouchers.

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.

Children Exposed to Violence

June 2010

Panelists will discuss the results of the recent Office of Juvenile Justice and ​Delinquency Prevention's National Survey on Children's Exposure to Violence and findings from a seven-year follow-up study, funded by NIJ, on home visitation in New York. The survey's findings included startling figures: More than 60 percent of the children interv​iewed were exposed to violence, crime and abuse within the past year, and more than 1 in 10 were injured in an assault.

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.

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.

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.