NIJ

NIJ Issues RFI on the Uses of AI in the Criminal Justice System

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) housed within the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) in the Department of Justice (DOJ) has issued a request for information (RFI) on the future uses of artificial intelligence (AI) in the criminal justice system. In response to the Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence Executive Order released by the Biden Administration in October 2023 (see previous COSSA coverage), NIJ seeks to understand the potential impacts of AI use in the criminal justice system to potentially influence a future report on the topic. Comments are requested by May 28 and should be emailed to mark.greene2@usdoj.gov. 

Headlines Webinars Return on February 27

COSSA’s Headlines Webinars have returned! For 2024, Headlines will feature discussions with leaders of federal science agencies, providing opportunities for the social and behavioral science community to learn about agency research programs, funding opportunities, and priorities. The series kicks off this month with a discussion about the research and data activities within the National Institute of Justice and Bureau of Justice Statistics. RSVP and learn more here. Headlines is a webinar series available to COSSA member organizations.

Applications for NIJ’s Graduate Research Fellowship Open

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is now accepting applications for their Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF) program. The program is looking for 20 new fellows and supports doctoral research with relevance to criminal or juvenile justice in the United States. This includes anthropology, sociology, public policy, information sciences, criminology, forensic science, technology for law enforcement, and more. Applications from all science and engineering fields are welcome. The fellowship provides up to three years of support within a five-year period and includes: The grants.gov deadline is April 10 and the JustGrants deadline is April 17. Students must be enrolled full time in a Ph.D….

2024 NIJ Research Conference: Advancing Justice Through Science

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is inviting submissions for lightning talks and research posters for their 2024 Research Conference: Advancing Justice Through Science. The conference will take place September 16-18 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. NIJ is welcoming proposals for 10-minute lightning talks on emerging issues and pioneering methods in research on safety and justice. Submissions for the poster session must focus on current issues and/or innovative methods that have an impact on the criminal or juvenile justice system in the United States and may involve social, behavioral, or forensic sciences; technology; and/or engineering. Eligibility for both opportunities is open to both…

AmStat and COSSA Virtual Briefing: What the Latest DOJ Funded Research and Statistics Say About Crime and Justice in the US

On July 27, the American Statistical Association (AmStat) and COSSA will be sponsoring a virtual briefing concerning the importance of research and statistics to inform crime and justice policy. Join Dr. Nancy La Vigne, Director of the National Institute of Justice, and Dr. Alex Piquero, Director of the Bureau of Justice Statistics, for a discussion about their priorities for advancing the use of science in crime and justice including in the areas of forensics and DNA, corrections and recidivism reduction, and the effectiveness of police body armor. Learn more about the briefing and registration here. 

NIJ Launches Competition on New Data Collection Models 

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the research arm within the U.S. Department of Justice, has launched the Innovations in Measuring Community Perceptions Challenge to develop new methods of measuring community attitude about public safety. NIJ has identified a gap in methods able to link to specific geographical locations and is seeking to develop new models to collect this type of data. NIJ is requesting that proposals consider how the model will interact with different communities; how the model will remain cost effective for widescale deployment and scalable to different area sizes; and how the model will collect data accurately…

NIJ To Host National Research Conference Focused on Research Evidence

The National Institute of Justice has opened registration for a national research conference, From Evidence to Action: Harnessing Research to Promote Safety and Evidence, which will take place May 23-25 in Arlington, Virginia. NIJ is welcoming poster abstract proposals for the conference that detail how research evidence has influenced policy and practice. Expected topics include law enforcement, corrections, forensic science, courts, juvenile justice, victims of crime, and equitable research strategies. NIJ will also educate attendees on the process of securing NIJ grant awards. The conference is available to all participants for free and registration is open here.

NIJ Seeking Applicants for W.E.B. Du Bois Research Program

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) within the Department of Justice (DOJ) has solicited applications for the 2023 W.E.B. Du Bois Program of Research on Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Justice System. The research program aims to identify public policy interventions to address racial and ethnic disparities in the criminal justice system. NIJ has supported funding for the W.E.B. Du Bois Program since 2000, although the program was halted between 2018 and 2021. Two categories of researchers will be selected: Applications are due April 24. More information is available on the NIJ website.

NIJ and BJS Directors Call for Reliable Research and Data on Crime

Nancy La Vigne, Ph.D., Director of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), and Alexis Piquero, Ph.D., Director of the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), called for an emphasis on scientific evidence in criminal justice policies in a January 4 opinion piece in The Hill. The commentary, which makes a case for continued support for the missions of NIJ and BJS, highlights public confusion regarding crime rates and the role of research and data collection in guiding crime reduction policies. It also cites crime forecasting algorithms and forensic science methodologies as evidence-based tools that research and data have shown to be…

NIJ Director Nancy La Vigne Shares Strategic Vision

Dr. Nancy La Vigne, the newly appointed Director of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), recently shared her strategic vision for research and programs at the agency. In the vision, La Vigne cites several key priorities for NIJ to consider including fostering rigorous and inclusive research, elevating studies that apply a lens of racial equity, using implementation science components in technology research, and encouraging interdisciplinary research when possible. La Vigne also cited the prevalence of disinformation and the lack of trust in scientific evidence, stating that “the onus is on us to be as clear as possible about the research…

Sen. Schatz, Rep. Dean Introduce Legislation to Reestablish Science Advisory Board at the Department of Justice

On July 25, Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Representative Madeleine Dean (D-PA) introduced S. 2286 and H.R. 3989, the Improving Justice Programs through Science Act. If enacted, the bill would reestablish a Science Advisory Board at the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) within the Department of Justice to better integrate scientific knowledge to inform crime reduction nationwide and provide scientific backing and evidence-based policies in the OJP’s programs and activities, including grants. The Board was originally chartered by the Obama Administration in 2010 and since then provided OJP with guidance in several proactive criminal justice reform efforts, including: the importance…

House Panel Approves FY 2020 Funding for NSF, Census, BJS, and NIJ

On May 22, the House Appropriations Committee approved its fiscal year (FY) 2020 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations Bill; the CJS Subcommittee advanced the bill on May 17. This bill contains annual funding proposals for the National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Justice (DOJ), and Census Bureau, among other federal departments and agencies. Overall, the House bill is favorable to agencies important to the COSSA community, with increases proposed across the bill’s jurisdiction. At a glance… The House CJS bill includes $8.6 billion for the National Science Foundation in FY 2020, which, if appropriated, would be a…

COSSA Submits FY 2020 Testimony to Senate Appropriations Committee in Support of Social Science Funding for NSF, Census, NIJ, and BJS

As it does each year, COSSA submitted outside witness testimony to the Congressional Appropriations subcommittees responsible for funding federal agencies important to the social sciences. COSSA submitted testimony to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies calling for increased funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institute of Justice (NIJ), Bureau of Justice Statistics, and the Census Bureau in fiscal year (FY) 2020. All of COSSA’s FY 2020 testimony is posted on the COSSA website. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

Senate Appropriations Committee Approves FY 2019 Commerce, Justice, Science Bill

On June 14, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the fiscal year (FY) 2019 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations Bill; the bill was marked up in subcommittee on June 12. The CJS bill serves as the vehicle for annual appropriations for the National Science Foundation (NSF), Census Bureau, National Institute of Justice (NIJ), Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), and many other federal departments and agencies. The House Appropriations Committee passed its bill on May 17. Read COSSA’s full analysis of the House bill here. At a Glance… The Senate CJS bill includes $8.1 billion for NSF in FY…

House Panel Passes FY 2019 Funding for NSF, Census, NIJ

On May 17, the House Appropriations Committee approved the fiscal year (FY) 2019 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations Bill; the bill was marked up in subcommittee on May 9. The CJS bill serves as the vehicle for annual appropriations for the National Science Foundation (NSF), Census Bureau, National Institute of Justice (NIJ), Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), and many other federal departments and agencies. The Senate has not yet released the details of its CJS bill. At a Glance… The House CJS bill includes $8.2 billion for NSF in FY 2019, which is 5.2 percent above the…

National Institute of Justice Seeking Peer Reviewers

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the research and evaluation agency of the Department of Justice, is seeking to expand its pool of peer reviewers. NIJ’s grant making process relies on scientists and criminal justice practitioners to provide expertise and feedback on the scientific rigor and merit of applications. NIJ is specifically seeking research and technical experts in the following areas: human trafficking, firearms violence, mass shootings, school safety, terrorism, gangs, persistently violent communities, and hate crime. More information about becoming a peer reviewer can be found on the NIJ website. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

GAO Report on Firearm Storage Highlights Lack of Federal Funding for Gun Research

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released a report entitled Personal Firearms: Programs that Promote Safe Storage and Research on Their Effectiveness that compiles information on public and non-profit programs promoting safe storage of personal firearms and the results of research on the effectiveness of such programs. The report was produced at the request of 19 Democratic senators, including Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), the Ranking Member of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP). The report finds that “there is relatively little research on safe firearm storage,” and that “lack of funding and data” is often cited as…

NIJ Releases New Policing Research Strategic Plan

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the research and evaluation arm of the Department of Justice, has released a five-year strategic plan for policing research. Priorities include promoting and supporting research to optimize workforce development for officers and civilian personnel, promoting and supporting research on policing practices, and promoting and supporting research on the relationship between policing and communities. More information can be found here. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

Senate CJS Bill Approved by Committee; Congress Leaves for Recess

On July 27, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the fiscal year (FY) 2018 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations Bill; the bill was marked up in subcommittee on July 25. In addition, the House Appropriations Committee advanced its version of the CJS bill on July 13 (check out COSSA’s coverage of this and other FY 2018 appropriations bills). The CJS bill serves as the vehicle for annual appropriations for the National Science Foundation (NSF), Census Bureau, Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), National Institute of Justice (NIJ), Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), and many other federal departments and agencies….

NIJ Publishes Two Reports on School Safety

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the research and evaluation agency of the Department of Justice, has published two reports as part of their Comprehensive School Safety Initiative. This research-focused initiative began in response to high-profile incidents of school violence and aims to identify causes of school violence, increase school safety, and implement policies for safer schools. The two reports released on July 28 are Summary of School Safety Statistics, which includes data collected by researchers as well as federal agencies, and States’ Roles in Keeping Schools Safe: Opportunities and Challenges for State School Safety Centers and Other Actors, which…

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