Dan Grupe, associate scientist at University of Wisconsin’s Center for Healthy Minds; Wendy Stiver, major at the Dayton (Ohio) Police Department; and Christopher Scallon, retired police sergeant talk about the importance of practitioners and researchers working together to study the effects of stress and trauma on law enforcement. The speakers note how the partnership can ensure that all stakeholders are involved, make the data more usable and understandable, and create a synergy of practical experience and vetted academic foundations.
Workshops and Seminars
Panelists from the National Institute of Justice’s Research for the Real World seminar, “Protecting Against Stress & Trauma: Research Lessons for Law Enforcement,” provide their opinions on what they hope people will take away from the event. These takeaways are managing officer expectations at the academy level for the stress and trauma that they could face on the job and sharing research resources on officer resiliency with law enforcement agencies.
John Violanti, research professor at University at Buffalo’s School of Public Health and Health Professions; Wendy Stiver, major at the Dayton (Ohio) Police Department; and Dan Grupe, associate scientist at University of Wisconsin’s Center for Healthy Minds discuss what they believe law enforcement leadership should focus on when dealing with officer health and wellness. This includes identifying trauma and warning signs for suicide, utilizing a “preventive maintenance” approach to the health and wellness of officers, and finding ways that can help officers deal with everyday stressors.
John Violanti, research professor at University at Buffalo’s School of Public Health and Health Professions; Wendy Stiver, major at the Dayton (Ohio) Police Department; and Dan Grupe, associate scientist at University of Wisconsin’s Center for Healthy Minds, speak about how the law enforcement culture of not showing weakness might deter some officers from getting help if they are suffering from mental health issues. The subject matter experts recommend listening to officers and conveying that it’s okay to express emotions.
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.
Violence Against American Indian and Alaska Native Women and Men - 2010 Findings from the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey
This seminar provides the first set of estimates from a national large-scale survey of violence against women and men who identified themselves as American Indian or Alaska Native using detailed behaviorally specific questions on psychological aggression, coercive control and entrapment, physical violence, stalking, and sexual violence. These results are expected to raise awareness and understanding of violence experienced by American Indian and Alaska Native people.
What does science tell us about case factors that can lead to a wrongful conviction? Dr. Jon Gould of American University will discuss the findings of the first large-scale empirical study that has identified ten statistically significant factors that distinguish a wrongful conviction from a "near miss." (A "near miss" is a case in which an innocent defendant was acquitted or had charges dismissed before trial). Following Dr. Gould's presentation, Mr. John R.
The Neurobiology of Sexual Assault: Implications for Law Enforcement, Prosecution, and Victim Advocacy
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.
In this seminar, Dr. Peggy Giordano of Bowling Green State University presents preliminary findings from the Toledo Adolescent Relationships Study (TARS), a thirteen-year longitudinal study examining the lives of young people transitioning into adulthood. In this study, Dr. Giordano led a team of researchers who performed five waves of structured in-home surveys paired with in-depth qualitative interviews with a subset of respondents who had experienced violence within the context of their dating relationships.
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.
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.
Professor Ed Latessa describes how his team and he assessed more than 550 programs and saw the best and the worst. Professor Latessa shared his lessons learned and examples of states that are trying to use evidence-based knowledge to improve correctional programs.
Bill King discusses the operations of the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN), a program through which firearms examiners at state and local crime laboratories compare tool marks on fired bullets or cartridges found at a crime scene to digitized images of ballistic evidence in a nationwide database.
In the face of budget cuts, changing workforce demands, new varieties of crime and new technologies, how should police executives manage officers and other personnel and still ensure that organizational goals are being met?
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.
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.
Mothers & Children Seeking Safety in the US: A Study of International Child Abduction Cases Involving Domestic Violence
Since the implementation of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, thousands of abused women have faced complex litigation after seeking safety in the United States. Many have been court ordered to return their to the country from which they fled and often to their abusive partners custody. The presenters discussed the findings of an NIJ-funded study focusing on the experiences of women who as victims of domestic violence in another country, come to the U.S.
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.
Don't Jump the Shark: Understanding Deterrence and Legitimacy in the Architecture of Law Enforcement
Deterrence theory dominates the American understanding of how to regulate criminal behavior but social psychologists' research shows that people comply for reasons that have nothing to do with fear of punishment; they have to do with values, fair procedures and how people connect with one another. Professor Meares discussed the relevance of social psychologists' emerging theory to legal theory and practice and how deterrence and emerging social psychology theories intertwine.
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.