The internet capacity to make communication more effective and efficient for criminal justice is currently being exploited by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ).
NIJ has developed and is developing a number of ways for using the Internet to disseminate research-based knowledge and to promote information exchange among criminal justice practitioners and researchers. This new mode of communication offers the advantages of speed and global reach and also enables users to easily access a vast and varied array of information resources that may be physically located in distant repositories. For the criminal justice community, the most useful feature of the Internet may be its facilitation of interaction; users are able to engage in electronic discussions with one another, one-on-one or in groups. These features have made the Internet a major component of NIJ's communication strategy. New NIJ documents are now available online as well as in hard copy and can be downloaded by users and printed via their own computers. For users, electronic publication means information can be kept current, and for the supplier it means savings in printing and distribution. The National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS), through NCJRS Online, is the gateway to many of the Internet services NIJ offers. NIJ is setting up structures for creating online discussion groups and other forums geared to topics of interest to criminal justice. The global reach of the Internet is enabling NIJ to promote worldwide exchange of criminal justice information, and NIJ is also promoting the use of the Internet by the criminal justice community; one way is by providing training in how to use it and how to tap its resources. 14 notes
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