The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is the United States Department of Justice (US DOJ) arm that focuses on research and scientific initiatives. Through the NIJ’s efforts, the criminal justice field is improved by using evidence-based scientific findings to support day-t-day law enforcement strategies and operations.
This course will unpack just a few of the many initiatives that the NIJ has undertaken over the last 50 years to improve the field of criminal justice. To speak about these programs is Gary Cordner who serves as NIJ’s advisor for its LEADS Program. He is a Professor Emeritus at the Eastern Kentucky University and the Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. Prior to becoming a professor, he served as a police officer, and later a police chief in Maryland. At EKU, he served as the Dean of the College of Justice and Safety. He also founded and directed the Regional Community Policing Institute and the International Justice & Safety Institute.
Some of the areas discussed in this webinar include:
- An overview of the National Institute of Justice's history, mission, branches, and initiatives.
- A rundown of some of the initiatives and partnerships that NIJ contributed in from the 1970s until today.
- The challenges encountered in partnerships by both the law enforcement agencies and the research providers.
- An introduction to the LEADS program that discusses the reasons why such an initiative is established.
- The LEADS Scholars program mechanics including the targeted sector of the program, the commitment required out of the scholars, and the number of scholars that can qualify per year.
- The perks of being part of the LEADS Scholars program that includes access to various events and resources for professional development.
- The LEADS Agencies Program that was created to support agencies instead of just individual scholars, and the reason behind such initiative.
- The agencies that become a part LEADS Agencies program, and the various projects they spearheaded where they utilized NIJ’s assistance to address their different issues and concerns.
The other phases of the LEADS programs that will help agencies to integrate more evidence-based policing within their jurisdiction such as:
- The Evidence-Based Self-Assessment Tool, a spreadsheet that is designed to assess an agency’s capability for evidence-based policing.
- The practical Evidence-Based Policing Guidebook that goes with the tool.
- Training and education across all ranks.
Topics raised during the Q&A relates to:
- What defines, comprises, and an example of evidence-based practice
- The cost of the LEADS Scholars Program
- Tips to maximize the possibilities of being chosen as a LEADS Scholar
- The LEADS Scholar Program being extended to civilian personnel
- The difference between LEADS and DDACTS
- Examples of interesting LEADS Scholars research projects
Resources Mentioned During Webinar:
- LEADS Self-Assessment Tool
- NIJ LEADS Main Page: https://www.nij.gov/topics/law-enforcement/Pages/law-enforcement-advancing-data-and-science-program.aspx
- NIJ "Notes from the Field" Commentary by LEADS Scholar: https://nij.gov/publications/Pages/notes-from-the-field-evidence-based-practice-johnson.aspx
- IACP Blog Post by LEADS Scholar: https://theiacpblog.org/2018/05/25/moving-the-needle-on-evidence-based-policing/
- Bios of LEADS Scholars: https://www.nij.gov/topics/law-enforcement/Pages/nij-iacp-leads-program.aspx
- LEADS Scholars Short Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=15&v=LvY7FMZkPi4
- Another Short LEADS Cideo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BaRXFUlhUzg