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Criminal Law

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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.

Why Is the United States the Most Homicidal Nation in the Affluent World?

December 2013

Ohio State University Since World War II, the homicide rate in the U.S. has been three to ten times higher than in Canada, Western Europe, and Japan. This, however, has not always been the case. What caused the dramatic change? Dr. Roth discussed how and why rates of different kinds of homicide have varied across time and space over the past 450 years, including an examination of the murder of children by parents or caregivers, intimate partner violence, and homicides among unrelated adults.

How Collaboration Between Researchers and Police Chiefs Can Improve the Quality of Sexual Assault Investigations: A Look at Los Angeles

June 2011

Panelists discuss the application of research findings from an NIJ-sponsored study of sexual assault attrition to police practice in Los Angeles. There are three main focal points: (1) the mutual benefits of researcher/practitioner partnerships, (2) the implications of variation in police interpretation of UCR guidelines specific to clearing sexual assault (with an emphasis on cases involving nonstrangers), and (3) the content of specialized training that must be required for patrol officers and detectives who respond to and investigate sex crimes.

Don't Jump the Shark: Understanding Deterrence and Legitimacy in the Architecture of Law Enforcement

November 2010

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.

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?

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.

Discussing the Future of Justice-Involved Young Adults

September 2015

New science in brain development is transforming young adult involvement with the justice system. On Tuesday, September 8, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Assistant Attorney General Karol Mason, and experts from NIJ and the Harvard Kennedy School Program in Criminal Justice who serve on the Executive Session on Community Corrections discussed the future of justice-involved young adults.

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.

NIJ's 50th Anniversary - Looking Back, Looking Forward

August 2018
NIJ’s 50th anniversary is an opportunity to reflect on how far the Institute has come, as well as its direction and priorities moving forward. In this Research for the Real World event, panelists will speak to the history and future of the Institute, drawing from decades of experience working for and closely with NIJ. Two Former NIJ Directors will reflect on their days heading the agency and their observations on how the agency has changed over time.

Police Officer Crimes and Police Integrity

February 2017
Dr. Philip Stinson, Bowling Green State University, discusses the findings of his research on crimes committed by police officers.

However, in some cases, at times due to the stressors of the job and frequent exposure to trauma and violence, officers engage in misconduct or criminal behavior. The National Institute of Justice understands what’s at stake for public safety and officer wellness when we ignore warning signs of officers struggling with occupational hazards and other psychological hardships.