NIJ funded Comprehensive School Safety Initiative projects from 2014 to 2017. See an overview of projects funded in each year below.
Projects Funded in 2017
In 2017, NIJ awarded $42 million through 21 awards under competitive solicitations that focused on:
- Developing Novel and Innovative School Safety Programs, Practices, and Strategies.
- Demonstration, Evaluation and Validation Tests for School Safety.
- Expanding the use of Effective Interventions through Scaling-up.
- Demonstrate and evaluating the application of existing technologies to improve school safety.
- Develop, demonstrate, and evaluate innovative, new technologies that can improve the safety of schools.
Projects Funded in 2016
In 2016, NIJ awarded $67 million through 25 awards under a competitive solicitation with four focus categories:
- Developing Knowledge About What Works to Make Schools Safe
- Causes and Consequences of School Violence
- Shorter Term Studies on School Safety
- Category 4: Longitudinal Studies of School Safety
Projects Funded in 2015
In 2015, NIJ awarded $69 million through 25 awards under a competitive solicitation to:
- Develop knowledge about what works to make schools safe.
- Determine the causes and consequences of school violence.
- Create evidence-based knowledge through shorter term studies.
- Develop and evaluate a comprehensive school safety framework.
Projects Funded in 2014
In 2014, NIJ funded projects to:
- Test innovative and promising programs in schools using scientifically rigorous methods.
- Enhance school safety data collection.
- Assess school safety technologies.
- Rate existing evaluated school safety programs and practices.
Test Innovative and Promising Programs and Practices in Schools
In 2014, NIJ awarded $18 million through nine awards under the solicitation “Investigator-Initiated Research: The Comprehensive School Safety Initiative” and $45 million through 15 awards under the solicitation “Developing Knowledge about What Works to Make Schools Safe”. These 24 projects address a wide range of school safety topics, including:
- School resource officer training and effectiveness.
- Mental health and trauma-informed response.
- Exclusionary discipline.
- Restorative justice.
- Threat assessment using social media.
- Positive behavioral interventions and supports.
- Bullying prevention.
- Wrap-around services/comprehensive approaches.
- Protecting students as they walk to and from school.
Enhance Data Collection
Understanding the safety issues that schools face begins with collecting better data. In 2014, NIJ also provided $3.5 million to four federal partners to improve surveys and incident-level data on school safety at the national level:
- The School Survey on Crime and Safety
The School Survey on Crime and Safety (SSOCS) is the nation’s primary source of school-level data on crime and safety. Under a $1,700,000 interagency agreement with NIJ, the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is collecting an extra year of SSOCS data to gather in-depth information regarding specific aspects of school safety, particularly about the roles and responsibilities of mental health professionals and law enforcement officers who work in a nationally representative sample of 3,500 public primary, middle, high, and combined schools. Please see Crime, Violence, Discipline, and Safety in U.S. Public Schools for findings from the 2015-2016 SSOCS survey.
NIJ also provided supplemental funds for the fiscal year 2017-2018 administration of the SSOCS. View the First Look Results (pdf, 96 pages).
- Survey of Law Enforcement Personnel in Schools
Under a $1,000,000 interagency agreement with NIJ, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics is conducting a new Survey of Law Enforcement Personnel in Schools to improve information about the roles, responsibilities, and actions of local law enforcement in K-12 public schools.
- Averted School Attacks Data Collection Platform
There is no national repository of information about averted or completed school attacks. Under a $500,000 interagency agreement with NIJ, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services is developing an Averted School Attacks Data Collection Platform to improve the quality and quantity of data regarding averted and completed school attacks. This system will allow schools and law enforcement agencies to input data, including data that may be useful to researchers and others seeking to identify effective practices and lessons-learned. See the Averted School Violence website for additional information on this information platform.
- School-Associated Violent Deaths Surveillance System
The School-Associated Violent Deaths Surveillance System is the most comprehensive national-level database regarding school-associated violent deaths. Under a $250,000 interagency agreement with NIJ, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control is improving SAVD to more efficiently capture timely data about homicides, suicides, and legal-intervention deaths that occur at or on the way to elementary and secondary schools or at school-sponsored events.
- National Electronic Injury Surveillance System All Injury Program
Under a $100,000 interagency agreement with NIJ, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) is developing and testing a pilot project that adds a school-safety component to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System All Injury Program (NEISS-AIP). This will allow better collection of data regarding individuals who are treated in emergency departments after being injured in school violence.
Assess School Safety Technologies
In 2014, NIJ also provided $1,500,000 in funding for two comprehensive technology assessments.
Johns Hopkins University received a competitive award to conduct directed research, test and evaluation projects to inform activities of NIJ's Office of Science and Technology. This work includes a comprehensive assessment of how technology is currently used to prevent and respond to school violence.
Under a separate competitive award, the Rand Corporation conducted focus groups with a variety of stakeholders to assess the unique technology needs of K-12 schools in urban, suburban and rural settings.
Comparing the needs identified by these focus groups with the results of the assessment conducted by JHU will assist NIJ in identifying what technology research and development is needed to improve school safety.
Rate Existing Evaluated School Safety Programs and Practices
Recognizing that there was an existing body of school safety research, NIJ provided FY14 Initiative funding to CrimeSolutions.gov to identify, rate and review school safety programs and practices for inclusion on the website. This involved conducting a literature review of evaluation research and meta-analyses, screening all identified research against the CrimeSolutions.gov eligibility criteria, and reviewing and scoring each eligible program and practice using the CrimeSolutions.gov rating instruments.