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NIJ National Center on Forensics, Fiscal Year 2020

Closing Date
With this solicitation, NIJ seeks proposals from qualified applicants to establish and operate the NIJ National Center on Forensics to facilitate a partnership amongst a full-service State department of forensic science with a medical examiner function, an accredited university of higher education with affiliate medical and law schools, and a statewide district attorneys association. The purpose of this partnership is to provide medico-legal learning opportunities for medical students to train as deputy medical examiners/coroners in underserved rural areas; provide forensic science and legal training to district attorneys, judges, and law enforcement; and develop opportunities as appropriate amongst the designated partners to benefit current and future practitioners in the field.

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.

Wrongful Convictions: The Latest Scientific Research & Implications for Law Enforcement

March 2013

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.

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.

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.

Just Wrong: The Aftermath of Wrongful Convictions

October 2017

The strength of our criminal justice system depends on its ability to convict the guilty and clear the innocent. But we know that innocent people are sometimes wrongfully convicted and the guilty remain free to victimize others. The consequences of a wrongful conviction are far-reaching for the wrongfully convicted and the survivors and victims of the original crimes. 

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. 

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.

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.

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.

Custody Evaluation in Domestic Violence Cases

June 2009

Panelists will examine practices, beliefs and recommendations of professional and custody evaluators in domestic violence cases. Panelists will discuss current NIJ studies that use both qualitative and quantitative methods to assess the impact of personal attitudes and beliefs on custody evaluation.