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Translational Criminology and Its Importance in Policing: A Review

NCJ Number
Police Practice and Research Volume: 20 Issue: 6 Dated: 2019 Pages: 537-551
Jordan Nichols; Sean Wire; Xiaoyun Wu; Madeline Sloan; Amber Scherer
Date Published
15 pages
This review suggests that the availability of empirical research is no longer the most significant impediment to evidence-based policing; rather, translating and implementing knowledge about 'what works' in policing has emerged as the field's primary barrier to achieving improvement in effectiveness and efficiency based on the use of research and data.
Translational criminology is a decisionmaking perspective that emphasizes the dynamic co-production of evidence by researchers and practitioners, focusing on obstacles to and facilitators of evidence generation and use. It incorporates several other data-driven decision-making models, including evidence-based policymaking. The current article orients readers to translational criminology's various components and explores their applications. Focusing on four central considerations, this review explores the roles of researcher-practitioner partnerships, policy, technology, and government in developing and sustaining translational efforts in policing. The review concludes by acknowledging challenges to fostering a translational perspective in policing and offering examples of where it has been successfully applied. (publisher abstract modified)