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NIJ’s Comprehensive School Safety Initiative

Date Published
March 13, 2018

The Comprehensive School Safety Initiative (CSSI) is a research-focused initiative that brings together the nation’s best minds to increase the safety of schools nationwide.

On this page find:

About the Initiative

 The initiative was a response to disturbing, high-profile incidents of school violence. Schools are mostly safe places — but when violence does occur, it can have far-reaching ramifications. CSSI is an investment in developing knowledge about the root causes of school violence, developing strategies for increasing school safety, and rigorously evaluating innovative school safety strategies through pilot programs.

CSSI projects aim to:

  1. Identify and understand the potential root causes and consequences of school violence and its impact on school safety.
  2. Increase the safety of schools nationwide by developing a solid foundation of knowledge and best practices that can be sustainably implemented through individualized school safety programs, policies, and activities.
  3. Help identify matters internal and external to the school that may result in harm to students, teachers, staff, and schools.
  4. Implement programs, policies, and practices that improve school safety and climate, focus on the school environment, or enhance educational and other outcomes for students and schools.
  5. Identify effective strategies to respond to and resolve safety issues faced by schools and students.
  6. In collaboration with key partners from education, law enforcement, behavioral/mental health, and social work, develop and test a comprehensive framework for school safety.

The initiative is focused on K-12 public schools, including public charter schools. CSSI projects require close collaborations between educators, researchers, and other stakeholders in the school community to ask the right questions, prioritize challenges, identify solutions, collect data, and make sense of the findings. 

Through projects funded under the CSSI, NIJ works to produce knowledge that can be applied to school safety across the nation and for years to come.

Additional Comprehensive School Safety Initiative resources:

Ongoing Research

NIJ launched the Comprehensive School Safety Initiative in 2014. The table below gives an overview of the funding amounts per year, number of awards, and provides links to descriptions of awards for each year of the initiative.

Each year, more of the CSSI funded projects are completed. To access the research findings from completed CSSI projects, select the link in the Solicitation & Awards column of the table below, find and select an award title to open an award detail page, and scroll down see final reports and articles generated from the award.

[note 1] In fiscal year 2017, in addition to funding 20 awards as the result of the two solicitations listed in the table, NIJ also provided funding through an interagency agreement for the School Survey on Crime and Safety. View the First Look Results (pdf, 96 pages).

[note 2] In fiscal year 2014, in addition to funding 24 awards as the result of the two solicitations listed in the table, NIJ also funded five additional projects through interagency agreements with other federal agencies. See details of those additional awards.

National Institute of Justice, "NIJ’s Comprehensive School Safety Initiative," March 13, 2018, nij.ojp.gov:
https://nij.ojp.gov/topics/articles/nijs-comprehensive-school-safety-initiative
Date Created: March 13, 2018