Dr. Nancy La Vigne, Director of the U.S. Justice Department’s National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is interviewed about how her extensive experience in criminal justice research shapes her vision for NIJ’s research under her tenure.
.When she was sworn in as Director of NIJ on May 9, 2022, she was serving on the Council on Criminal Justice as a senior policy fellow and directed the Council’s task force on policing. Prior to that, she directed the Justice Policy Center at the Urban Institute over the course of a decade and served as the Executive Director of the congressionally mandated bipartisan Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections Reform. The current interview is focusing on her vision for NIJ as the Justice Department’s Research, Development, and Evaluation Agency. Dr. La Vigne is being interviewed on this occasion to share some of what she hopes to accomplish as head of NIJ, the Justice Department's Research, Development, and Evaluation agency. She notes that her first priority is to promote what she calls “inclusive research,” which she indicates consists of four key elements: 1) making sure that researchers are learning from the true experts on whatever topic they are studying; 2) Reviewing a variety of research methodologies; 3) engaging in interdisciplinary research; and 4) continually updating researchers on the evolution of research methods and principles.