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In Memoriam: Paul Cascarano

NCJ Number
NIJ Journal Issue: 259 Dated: March 2008 Pages: 30-31
Mary G. Graham
Date Published
March 2008
2 pages
This article reviews the achievements of Paul Cascarano, who died in August 2007 at the age of 76 after a 30-year career at the U.S. Justice Department's National Institute of Justice (NIJ), which included being part of a small team that launched one of the Nation's first programs of criminal justice research.
Cascarano led NIJ's early work in identifying model criminal justice programs, documenting them in easy-to-read manuals that were widely disseminated for training to policymakers, local officials, and managers. He also spearheaded the effort to make the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) the premier information clearinghouse it has become. In addition to his efforts to maximize NIJ's dissemination of best practices in criminal justice through a variety of publications, Cascarano used innovative ways to reach wider audiences, such as a series of 32 videotaped discussions on crime control ("Crime File") among frontline professionals and scholars. The series was broadcast on public television stations between 1985 and 1994. The videotapes were distributed and viewed in classrooms, lectures, and seminar discussions. During a period when drug problems were escalating in the Nation's cities, Cascarano explored the expansion of an NIJ-supported pilot project in the Pretrial Services Agency in Washington, DC which used urinalysis in drug testing arrestees. He worked with researchers to develop the Drug Use Forecasting program by the 1990s, which became the Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring program. Under an increased focus on combating violent crime under the 1994 Crime Act, Cascarano was a leader in the development of the Partnership Against Violence Network, an online consortium through which Federal agencies share their research findings. In a tribute following his death, Cascarano was described as "a visionary who believed deeply in the value of research as a tool to help practitioners deal with real problems..."