U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs

Evidence, Research, and Evaluation Guidance and Requirements

The Organizational Requirements are statutory and regulatory requirements that applicants to OJP funding opportunities must comply with if awarded funding.

Guidance for Evidence-Based Programs or Practices

OJP strongly emphasizes the use of data and evidence in policy making and program development in criminal justice, juvenile justice, and crime victim services. OJP is committed to:

  • improving the quantity and quality of evidence OJP generates;
  • integrating evidence into program, practice, and policy decisions within OJP and the field; and
  • improving the translation of evidence into practice.

OJP considers programs and practices to be evidence-based when their effectiveness has been demonstrated by causal evidence, generally obtained through one or more outcome evaluations. Causal evidence documents a relationship between an activity or intervention (including technology) and its intended outcome, including measuring the direction and size of a change, and the extent to which a change may be attributed to the activity or intervention. Causal evidence depends on the use of scientific methods to rule out, to the extent possible, alternative explanations for the documented change. The strength of causal evidence, based on the factors described above, will influence the degree to which OJP considers a program or practice to be evidence-based. OJP’s CrimeSolutions.gov web site is one resource that applicants may use to find information about evidence-based programs in criminal justice, juvenile justice, and crime victim services.

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Research and the Protection of Human Subjects

OJP has developed a decision tree to assist applicants in determining whether an activity they plan to undertake with OJP funds constitutes research involving human subjects.

DOJ regulations (28 CFR Part 46) protect the human subjects of federally funded research. In brief, 28 CFR Part 46 requires that most research involving human subjects that is conducted or supported by a Federal department or agency be reviewed and approved by an Institutional Review Board (IRB), in accordance with the regulations, before Federal funds are expended for that research. As a rule, persons who participate in Federally-funded research must provide their "informed consent" and must be permitted to terminate their participation at any time. Funding recipients, before they will be allowed to spend OJP funds on any research activity involving human subjects, must submit appropriate documentation to OJP showing compliance with 28 CFR Part 46 requirements, as requested by OJP.

General information regarding Data Confidentiality and Protection of Human Research Subjects (and Model Privacy Certificates and other forms): Standard Forms and Instructions

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Data Privacy and Confidentiality Requirements

DOJ regulations (28 CFR Part 22) require recipients of OJP funding to submit a Privacy Certificate as a condition of approval of any grant application or contract proposal that contains a research or statistical component under which "information identifiable to a private person" will be collected, analyzed, used, or disclosed. The funding recipient's Privacy Certificate includes a description of its policies and procedures to be followed to protect the confidentiality of identifiable data. 28 CFR Section 22.23. The Department's regulations provide, among other matters, that: "Research or statistical information identifiable to a private person may be used only for research or statistical purposes." 28 CFR Section 22.21. Moreover, any private person from whom information identifiable to a private person is collected or obtained (either orally or by means of written questionnaire or other document) must be advised that the information will only be used or disclosed for research or statistical purposes and that compliance with the request for information is voluntary and may be terminated at any time. 28 CFR Section 22.27.

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