Research is critical to the development of sound criminal justice policy, as well as to the development of advanced technologies that support the work of law enforcement agencies. Sound evaluations of methods and existing Office of Justice Programs (OJP) grant programs are necessary to ensure the wise expenditure of taxpayer dollars. As the research, development, and evaluation agency of the Department of Justice, the National Institute of Justice is dedicated to improving knowledge and understanding of crime and justice issues through science. NIJ provides objective and independent knowledge and tools to reduce crime and promote justice, particularly at the state and local levels.
Research and OJP's Offices and Bureaus
The OJP includes multiple offices and bureaus that either directly support research, statistics, and evaluation, or regularly use this information to support programming, training, and related activities.
- National Institute of Justice
- Bureau of Justice Statistics
- Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
- Bureau of Justice Assistance
- Office for Victims of Crime
- Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking
The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) is the primary statistical agency of the U.S. Department of Justice. BJS collects, analyzes, publishes, and disseminates information on crime, those who commit crime, victims of crime, and the operation of justice systems at all levels of government. Impartial, timely, and accurate statistical data are essential to guide and inform federal, state, and local policymaking on crime and the administration of justice and to improve the quality of and access to information used for decision making. The BJS website provides every publication released by BJS since 1995, with downloadable datasets and spreadsheets, online analytic capabilities, and graphical presentations.
Children Exposed to Violence (CEV)
Children may experience crime, violence, and abuse in their homes, in school, and in their communities, and these experiences accumulate over time. Whether a child is a direct victim or a witness to violent events, childhood exposure to violence has been demonstrated to cause a range of subsequent difficulties and challenges for the individuals themselves, as well as for families and communities. Understanding and addressing children exposed to violence (CEV) requires a multi-disciplinary approach that is not limited by the specific nature or location of the violence or the relationship of the parties involved.
This review and synthesis of evidence related to CEV reveals that CEV: (1) affects a significant number of children in the United States; (2) may have significant negative outcomes, particularly when children are exposed to multiple forms of violence; and (3) is related to a variety of known risk factors. In addition to specific evidence-based programs that can be found on the CrimeSolutions website, this review identified characteristics associated with successful practices.
Gangs continue to be a major issue of concern because of the violence and other criminal and delinquent activity they bring to localities across the country. Generally, practitioners and researchers agree that success in responding to gangs requires an appropriate balance of effective prevention, intervention, enforcement, and reentry activities. In addition to the specific evidence-based programs that can be found on the CrimeSolutions website, this review examines the nature of gang activity in the United States and practices used to address them.
Get the facts on gangs.
OJP's Evidence Integration Initiative (E2I)
OJP’s Evidence Integration Initiative (E2I) is focused on improving the synthesis and translation of social science research findings to inform practice and policy in criminal justice, juvenile justice, and victim services. OJP’s CrimeSolutions website accomplishes this primarily by assessing the quality and findings of program evaluation evidence to try to answer the question "does this program work?" See the CrimeSolutions website to access research on program effectiveness reviewed and rated by CrimeSolutions researchers and reviewers.
- Criminal Justice Statistics Funding Programs (Bureau of Justice Statistics)
- Funding & Awards (National Institute of Justice)
- Research, Development and Evaluation (National Institute of Justice):
- Topical Pages containing statistics from the Bureau of Justice Statistics:
Publications and Multimedia
- Research, Development and Evaluation (National Institute of Justice):
- Statistical Information from the Bureau of Justice Statistics
NIJ is the research, development, and evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice. NIJ is dedicated to improving knowledge and understanding of crime and justice issues through science. NIJ provides objective and independent knowledge and tools to reduce crime and promote justice, particularly at the state and local levels.
NIJ's pursuit of this mission is guided by the following principles:
- Research can make a difference in individual lives, in the safety of communities and in creating a more effective and fair justice system.
- Government-funded research must adhere to processes of fair and open competition guided by rigorous peer review.
- NIJ's research agenda must respond to the real world needs of victims, communities and criminal justice professionals.
- NIJ must encourage and support innovative and rigorous research methods that can provide answers to basic research questions as well as practical, applied solutions to crime.
- Partnerships with other agencies and organizations, public and private, are essential to NIJ's success.
The principal functions of BJS are the compilation and analysis of data and the dissemination of information for statistical purposes. The mission of BJS is to collect, analyze, publish, and disseminate information on crime, those who commit crime, victims of crime, and the operation of justice systems at all levels of government. This information is critical to federal, state, and local policymakers in combating crime and ensuring that justice is both efficient and evenhanded. BJS adheres to the following principles and practices:
- A clearly-defined and well-accepted mission
- A strong position of independence
- Continual development of more useful data
- Openness about the sources and limitations of the data provided
- Wide dissemination of data
- Cooperation with data users
- Fair treatment of data providers
- Commitment to quality and professional standards of practice
- An active research program
- Professional advancement of staff
- Coordination and cooperation with other statistical agencies
OJJDP provides national leadership, coordination, and resources to prevent and respond to juvenile delinquency and victimization. OJJDP supports states and communities in their efforts to develop and implement effective and coordinated prevention and intervention programs and to improve the juvenile justice system so that it protects public safety, holds justice-involved youth appropriately accountable, and provides treatment and rehabilitative services tailored to the needs of juveniles and their families.
OJJDP has a specific mission to develop and disseminate knowledge about what works to prevent juvenile delinquency and violence and improve the effectiveness of the juvenile justice system. The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) Act of 1974, as amended (Pub. L. No. 93-415, 42 U.S.C. § 5661) authorizes the Administrator of OJJDP to conduct research or evaluation, and undertake statistical analyses on a wide range of juvenile justice matters. OJJDP also provides funding to states and localities to carry out research, evaluation, and statistical analyses.
BJA supports law enforcement, courts, corrections, treatment, victim services, technology, and prevention initiatives that strengthen the nation's criminal justice system. BJA provides leadership, services, and funding to America's communities by:
- Emphasizing local control
- Building relationships in the field
- Provide training and technical assistance in support of efforts to prevent crime, drug abuse, and violence at the national, state, and local levels
- Developing collaborations and partnerships
- Promoting capacity building through planning
- Streamlining the administration of grants
- Increasing training and technical assistance
- Creating accountability of projects
- Encouraging innovation
- Communicating the value of justice efforts to decision makers at every level
OVC administers the Crime Victims Fund (the Fund), which is financed by fines and penalties paid by individuals convicted of federal offenses, not from tax dollars. Federal revenues deposited into the Fund also come from gifts, donations, and bequests by private parties. OVC channels funding for victim compensation and assistance throughout the United States, raises awareness about victims' issues, promotes compliance with victims' rights laws, and provides training and technical assistance and publications and products to victim assistance professionals.
The SMART Office was authorized in the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006. The mission of the SMART Office is to protect the public by supporting the national implementation of a comprehensive sex offender registration and notification system. The responsibilities of the SMART Office include providing jurisdictions with guidance regarding the implementation of the Adam Walsh Act, and providing technical assistance to the states, territories, Indian tribes, local governments, and to public and private organizations. The SMART Office also tracks important legislative and legal developments related to sex offenders and administers grant programs related to the registration, notification, and management of sex offenders.