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Crime laboratories

A Data-Informed Response to Emerging Drugs

December 2023

The emerging drug crisis in the U.S. touches both criminal justice and public health, and experts from both fields came together at NIJ’s 2023 National Research Conference to discuss strategies and tools to fight this problem. Dr. Frances Scott, NIJ scientist and program manager, continues the conference discussion with two fellow panelists: Ciena Bayard, the Method Development and Validation Program Manager for D.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, and Haley Greene, the Deputy Epidemiologist for the Central Region for the Virginia Department of Health. Read the transcript.

Embodying Evidence to Action: Tracking the Impact of Three Key NIJ Research Investments; Opening Plenary of the 2023 NIJ Research Conference

August 2023

This plenary featured three significant areas of NIJ research investment that have had a tremendous impact on both the research community and the field of practice: advances in forensic DNA, police body armor standards, and place-based analyses of public safety. Each topic was explored by a collection of people representing the researcher, practitioner, policymaker, and advocacy perspectives, exploring how evidence generation resulted in changes that improved public safety and yielded more equitable criminal justice outcomes.

Vaping: It's Not What You Think

May 2023
Vaping has grown in popularity as an alternative to cigarettes, but like its predecessor, vaping brings many health complications to consumers. Thanks to the persistence of researchers like Dr. Michelle Peace, these once unknown dangers have been brought to light. Dr. Peace, a tenured Associate Professor and founding member of VCU’s Department of Forensic Science, joins host and NIJ Scientist Dr. Frances Scott to discuss the history and science of vaping and what it does to our bodies.

Building More Reliable Forensic Sciences (Part Two)

April 2023

The scientific basis of several aspects of forensic evidence was first called into question by the 2009 National Research Council report. That report had an immediate impact on law enforcement, crime labs, courtrooms, and the broader scientific community.