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Term of the Month

Defining Criminal Justice Research

Welcome to NIJ’s Term of the Month. Each month we are featuring a term from our scientific research portfolios informing significant American justice system issues and solutions. 

August 2022 - Student Threat Assessment

A student threat assessment is a systematic approach to evaluating the likelihood that a student will carry out a violent act after an expressed threat or threatening behaviors.  

Threat assessments are performed by interdisciplinary school-based teams. The teams can give schools a proactive, effective alternative to reactive disciplinary practices such as zero tolerance discipline and exclusionary discipline such as student suspensions.  

Threat assessments can prove challenging, however. Schools must substantiate information received in threat assessments, and threat assessments will not be a practical means of assessing all tips related to threatened school violence. 

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Date Created: January 28, 2021