Archive for the ‘National Institute of Justice’ Category

From Warriors to Guardians: Recommitting American Police Culture to Democratic Ideals

July 6, 2015 Comments off

From Warriors to Guardians: Recommitting American Police Culture to Democratic Ideals
Source: National Institute of Justice

In this paper, the authors advocate for a recommitment to democratic ideals within law enforcement to combat the culture and mindset that officers are warriors at war with the people they are sworn to protect. While most law enforcement leaders recognize that creating stronger human connections and community engagement will lead to improved public safety and more effective crime fighting, law enforcement agencies lack a commitment to increasing community trust.

Research tells us that while crime rates have fallen over the past three decades, public trust and confidence in the police have remained unchanged in recent years. In fact, research shows that the public doesn’t care as much about crime rates as they do about how they are treated by police. This phenomenon, known as “procedural justice,” focuses on perceived impartiality during interactions between police and the communities they serve, participation from the public during these interactions, fairness, and consistency of treatment.

To build a foundation of trust necessary to form a true partnership between the police and the communities they serve, the authors suggest shifting training programs away from the paramilitary boot camp model towards programs that recommit police culture to democratic ideals, where officers exercising procedural justice are viewed as a vital part of a community, instead of an occupying force.

Measuring Performance in a Modern Police Organization

May 20, 2015 Comments off

Measuring Performance in a Modern Police Organization
Source: National Institute of Justice

Author Malcolm Sparrow describes some of the narrower traditions police organizations follow when they describe their values and measure their performance (clearance rates, response times, etc.). Sparrow uses the analogy of an airline pilot’s sophisticated cockpit as he advocates that police managers use a broader and richer information environment to assess performance. In easy to understand language, he summarizes the work of several giants in the policing field who have broadened the framework for monitoring and measuring policing (Herman Goldstein, Mark Moore, Robert Behn, etc.).

The Impact of Forensic Science Research & Development

May 7, 2015 Comments off

The Impact of Forensic Science Research & Development
Source: National Institute of Justice

Forensic science R&D in the 1980s laid the groundwork for advances in the 1990s and early 2000s that had a profound impact on crime laboratories. Although the scientific advances, particularly the growth of DNA testing, provided more effective tools for analyzing evidence and identifying perpetrators, they also led to a dramatic increase in the demand for lab services. By the late 1990s and through the 2000s, demand outstripped the ability of the labs to respond quickly and efficiently. Today, scientists and technicians at forensic labs are under relentless pressure to produce results faster and at lower cost.

Research on Body-Worn Cameras and Law Enforcement

February 3, 2015 Comments off

Research on Body-Worn Cameras and Law Enforcement
Source: National Institute of Justice

In a sample of police departments surveyed in 2013, approximately 75 percent of them reported that they did not use body-worn cameras. The survey was funded by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services and conducted by the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF).[1]

PERF’s report about the survey notes a number of perceived benefits for using body-worn cameras, including better evidence documentation and increased accountability and transparency.[2] But the report also notes many other factors that law enforcement executives must consider, such as privacy issues, officer and community concerns, data retention and public disclosure policies, and financial considerations.[3] The costs of implementing body-worn cameras include not only the cost of the cameras, but also of any ancillary equipment (e.g., tablets that let officers tag data in the field), data storage and management, training, administration, and disclosure.[4]

Teen Dating Violence: How Peers Can Affect Risk & Protective Factors

January 13, 2015 Comments off

Teen Dating Violence: How Peers Can Affect Risk & Protective Factors (PDF)
Source: National Institute of Justice

Compared to childhood, adolescence is a period marked by significant changes in the nature and importance of interpersonal relationships. Relationships with friends become more autonomous and central to personal well-being and, for the first time, many youth become involved in romantic relationships. Although the initiation of romantic relationships is a positive and healthy experience for many youth, it is a source of violence and abuse for others. Approximately 9 percent of high school students report being hit, slapped or physically hurt on purpose by their boyfriend or girlfriend in the past year. Teen dating violence rates appear to be even higher among certain populations, such as youth who have a history of exposure to violence.

Recognizing the large number of youth who experience dating violence, policymakers at the federal and state levels have worked to raise awareness of dating violence, prevent violence from occurring, and offer more protection and services to victims. In response to this increased focus on teen dating violence, research has begun to flourish. Since 2008, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) has provided close to $15 million in funding for basic, applied and policy-level research on dating violence. These projects have led to increased knowledge about risk and protective factors and psychosocial health behaviors associated with teen dating violence, and to the development and evaluation of dating violence prevention programs targeting diverse samples of youth. Research has also examined adolescents’ knowledge of and barriers to using protection orders against violent partners.

This Research in Brief looks at the research from the perspective of one key emerging theme: Peers and the contexts in which peers interact can contribute to their risk for and protection against dating violence. Although we focus primarily on findings from NIJ-funded research, we also draw upon the broader literature on adolescent development and romantic relationships to show ways that teens shape each other’s experiences across the spectrum of entering into and leaving violent romantic relationships.

Criminal Justice Restraints Standard NIJ Standard 1001.00

January 13, 2015 Comments off

Criminal Justice Restraints Standard NIJ Standard 1001.00 (PDF)
Source: National Institute of Justice

This document is a voluntary performance standard for restraints for use by the criminal justice community. It defines both performance requirements and the methods used to test performance. In order for a manufacturer, supplier or other entity to claim that a particular restraint model satisfies this National Institute of Justice (NIJ) standard, the model must be in compliance with this standard, as determined in accordance with this document and the associated document, Criminal Justice Restraints Certification Program Requirements, NIJ CR- 1001.00. Both this standard and the associated certification program requirements document are produced as a part of the Standards and Testing Program of the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, NIJ, as is a third associated document, the Criminal Justice Restraints Selection and Application Guide, NIJ Guide-1001.00.

All requirements stated in this standard, including those that explicitly employ mandatory language (e.g., “shall”), are those necessary to satisfy this standard. Nothing in this document is intended to require or imply that commercially available restraints must satisfy this standard.

This document is a performance and testing standard and, therefore, provides precise and detailed test methods.

This standard addresses only wrist to wrist and ankle to ankle restraints. This standard does not address any restraint constructed of natural/non-synthetic materials (e.g., leather, natural rubber, cotton).

Social Media and Police Leadership: Lessons From Boston

April 14, 2014 Comments off

Social Media and Police Leadership: Lessons From Boston (PDF)
Source: National Institute of Justice

The Boston Police Department (BPD) has long embraced both community policing and the use of social media. The department put its experience to good and highly visible use in April 2013 during the dramatic, rapidly developing investigation that followed the deadly explosion of two bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. BPD successfully used Twitter to keep the public informed about the status of the investigation, to calm nerves and request assistance, to correct mistaken information reported by the press, and to ask for public restraint in the tweeting of information from police scanners. This demonstrated the level of trust and interaction that a department and a community can attain online. In the aftermath of the investigation, BPD was “applauded for leading an honest conversation with the public during a time of crisis in a way that no police department has done before.”


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