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Vital Role of Federal Crime Research

NCJ Number
Human Events Dated: (January 24, 1987) Pages: 10-12
Date Published
3 pages
An interview with James K. Stewart, Director of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) focuses on the role of Federal research on crime and on specific research findings and their implications for policies in the areas of sentencing, corrections, drug abuse, and law enforcement.
The Federal investment of $18.5 million each year in NIJ is modest compared to the $40 billion in annual expenditures on the justice system, $26 billion spent on private security, and $35 billion in victims' losses of cash and property. NIJ research is emphasizing policy relevance and practicality. It has shown the importance of focusing investigations on solvable crimes and has led to the one-day-one-trial jury system for 20 percent of the Nation's population. NIJ research has also shown that a criminal's risk of going to prison dropped by nearly half between 1960 and 1980 and has shown ways to save money on prison construction. NIJ is also working on better ways of supervising released criminals. Other research has quantified the impact of drug use on an offender's behavior and has indicated the numbers of criminals going free as a result of releases under the exclusionary rule. NIJ is also researching ways of reducing court case backlogs and delays and of making police responses to citizen calls more effective.

Date Published: January 1, 1987