Other Free Encyclopedias » Law Library - American Law and Legal Information » Crime and Criminal Law » Criminology and Criminal Justice Research: Organization - Government-sponsored Research, Development Of Research Centers, The Federal Impact On Research, Research Tools

Criminology and Criminal Justice Research: Organization - Development Of Research Centers

foundation university policy police

In addition to the increase in funding from the federal government for crime-related issues, a number of private (both not-for-profit and for-profit) research centers have also increased the distribution of resources available to the study of criminal justice issues. Some of the most notable include the Institute for Law and Justice, the Vera Institute, the Urban Institute, Rand Corporation, Abt Associates, Police Foundation, and the Police Executive Research Forum. Various private foundations have also entered the criminal justice arena, including the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, the William T. Grant Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation.

Located in northern Virginia, the Institute for Law and Justice (ILJ) is a private, nonprofit corporation dedicated to consulting, research, evaluation, and training in criminal justice issues related to policing, courts, and corrections. ILJ fields a comprehensive research staff who also works with cities, counties, states, federal agencies, and private industries in matters associated with criminal justice. In addition, ILJ organizes the Annual Research and Evaluation Conference held in Washington, D.C.

The Vera Institute designs and implements innovative programs that encourage "just practices" in public services toward improvement in the quality of life. Located in New York City, Vera operates the programs it designs only during the demonstration stage; if these programs succeed, the demonstrations often lead to the creation of new government programs, the reform of old ones, or the establishment of non-profit organizations to carry them out. In addition to a focus on applied criminal justice and social reform issues, Vera also has projects that examine child welfare and juvenile justice, a neighborhood drug crisis center, the citizen jury project, support for people with disabilities, and a Bureau of Justice Assistance Project in South Africa.

Located in Washington, D.C., the Urban Institute is a nonprofit policy research organization established in 1968. The goals of the institute are to sharpen thinking about society's problems and develop efforts to solve them, improve government decisions and their implementation, and increase citizens' awareness about important public choices. The Urban Institute is comprised of a variety of centers that fall under various domains, including economics, social welfare, community building, and policy briefs. The crime/law and behavior program, which handles much of the institute's criminal justice research, is part of the State Policy Center located within the community-building domain. The law and behavior program conducts evaluations and analyses of federal, state, and local crime programs and policies. Research foci include the police, courts, and programs designed to prevent and respond to drug use, delinquency, and family and youth violence. Recent projects include evaluation of comprehensive community-based anticrime initiatives, evaluation of Washington, D.C., drug courts, a gun control policy evaluation, and an assessment of the gains from criminal activity.

With its main headquarters in Santa Monica, California, one of the largest research centers in the country is the RAND Corporation. Originally designed to study matters associated with national security, the 1960s witnessed RAND's entrance into domestic policy concerns. Areas of research within RAND include national defense, education and training, health care, and criminal justice. RAND's criminal justice program started in 1976 and has been analyzing issues and policy related to three domains: sentencing and corrections, drug policy, and violence prevention. RAND's work in the criminal justice area has included projects on criminal careers, the effects of determinant sentencing, violence prevention, efficiency, effectiveness, and equity within the criminal justice system, and drug use trends and drug use reduction strategies.

Founded in 1965, Abt Associates is a for-profit government and business consulting and research firm based in suburban Boston that uses research-based approaches to help solve social and business problems and guide government policy decisions. Abt maintains proficiency in four large areas: social and economic policy, international economic development, business research and consulting, and clinical trials. Within the social and economic policy domain, Abt fields the law and public policy area. Abt's work in this area focuses on issues related to crime and substance abuse. It includes policy-oriented research and evaluation and translation and synthesis of research for nonscientific professionals in criminal justice and substance abuse areas. One recent development is a Neighborhood Problem Solving System that was designed for community crime prevention organizations in Hartford. The software package developed by Abt enables community groups to produce computerized maps showing the location of crimes and arrests.

The Police Foundation was established in 1970 with a $30 million fund from the Ford Foundation to assist a limited number of police departments in experiments and demonstrations aimed at improving operations, and to support special education and training projects. Since then, the Police Foundation has been at the forefront of several major police studies, including: the Kansas City Preventive Patrol Experiment; the Newark Foot Patrol Experiment; the Minneapolis Domestic Violence Experiment; the Status of Women in Policing Project; the San Diego Patrol Staffing Project; the Houston-Newark Fear of Crime Project; the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department's Repeat Offending Project; the Police Use of Force Project; and the Big Six Project, which studied the six largest police departments in the country. In addition, the foundation produced Crime File, a twenty-two-part criminal justice videotape series that focused on topics such as deadly force, domestic violence, and gun control.

Another organization that focuses on police research, the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), is a national membership organization of police executives from the largest city, county, and state law enforcement agencies. PERF originated in 1975 when ten police executives from some of the nation's largest cities met informally to discuss common policing concerns. After a successful initial meeting, the chiefs decided to meet on a regular basis to explore issues related to improving the quality of policing. The twofold mission statement of PERF includes the improvement of policing, and the advancement of professionalism through research and involvement in public policy debate. PERF is primarily concerned with research and experimentation that generates knowledge, discussion, and debate about policing. Some of the projects undertaken by PERF include the effect of fatigue on officer performance, police use of force, and the potential effect of the police on reducing homicide.

Created in 1978 by John D. MacArthur, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is a private, independent grant-making institution dedicated to helping groups and individuals foster lasting improvement in the human condition. Based in Chicago, the MacArthur Foundation supports research, policy development, dissemination, education and training, and practice. Of all private foundations, MacArthur provides the most financial support for criminal justice research. It makes grants through two major integrated programs: Human and Community Development, and Global Security and Sustainability. The former program supports national research and policy work, while the latter program focuses on arms reduction and security policy, ecosystems conservation and policy, and population. The foundation also supports two other programs: the general program, which undertakes special initiatives and supports projects that promote excellence and diversity in the media, and the MacArthur Fellows Program, which awards fellowships to exceptionally creative individuals, regardless of field of endeavor. The Program on Human and Community Development focuses broadly on social conditions, including community and child development. One focus of the foundation is its infusion of teams of collaborators that are comprised not only of interdisciplinary scholars, but also policy analysts, policymakers, and the individuals who do their jobs, work with civic and neighborhood organizations, and support the growth and development of children, families, communities, and friends. The foundation approaches this mission with two strategies: projects and networks. Foundation projects are large-scale and are designed to document social conditions, evaluate the effectiveness of social policies, and track the progress of major policy reform initiatives. One of these projects is the multiagency funded Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods, a project that is tracking the developmental histories of several cohorts of individuals throughout Chicago. The second strategy pursued by the foundation is the formation of research networks. Referred to as "research institutions without walls," the foundation networks bring together individuals from a broad spectrum of disciplines, perspectives, and research methods to explore basic theoretical issues and empirical questions that deal with fundamental social issues. Several networks deal with issues related to criminology and criminal justice (Psychopathology and Development, Mental Health and the Law, Successful Pathways through Middle Childhood). Principle among these is the Network on Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice. This network has brought together a team of researchers and practitioners to study issues associated with development and juvenile justice. Two main studies are being undertaken by this particular network. The first is a two-site, longitudinal study of the process by which serious offenders navigate the criminal justice process, and the patterns by which they persist or desist from criminal offending. The second project consists of a multisite study on issues related to competence and culpability regarding young offenders in the criminal justice system. The MacArthur Foundation is able to provide all of these research services because it has assets of $4 billion and makes grants totaling more than $170 million annually.

Founded in 1936, the Ford Foundation operated as a local philanthropy in Michigan until 1950 when it expanded to become a national and international foundation. Since its inception, it has been an independent, nonprofit, nongovernmental organization that has provided more than $9.3 billion in grants and loans. The Ford Foundation has as its goals the strengthening of democratic values, the reduction of poverty and injustice, the promotion of international cooperation, and the advancement of human achievement. To accomplish these tasks, the foundation encourages initiatives by those living and working closest to where problems are located; promotes collaboration among the nonprofit, government, and business sectors; and assures participation by men and women from diverse communities and at all levels of society. Three domains of research mark the foundation's funding: human and community development, peace and social justice, and education, media, and arts.

The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation grew out of financial resources from the Avon Company. The main funding priorities for the McConnell-Clark Foundation cut across four areas: the poor, children, the elderly, and the developing world. These topical areas have turned into research programs studying children, tropical diseases, New York neighborhoods, student achievement, youth development, and justice. Within the area of criminal justice, several grants have been awarded to youth law centers in Philadelphia and San Francisco, and to the law institute at the University of Minnesota.

Started in 1936 by William T. Grant, the William T. Grant Foundation's mission is to "assist research, education, and training through the sciences which have their focus in the study of man and the fundamental principles of human relations." Support from the Grant Foundation is available within three broad areas: research on the development of children, adolescents, and youth, research to evaluate broadly based social interventions; a faculty scholars program; and a small grants program. One current project being supported by the foundation concerns the disrupted transition of high school dropout from adolescence to adulthood, and the implications high school dropout has for successful life development, including involvement in antisocial behavior.

The purpose of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is to test promising ideas, evaluate results, and give heightened visibility to particular issues. Although the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation concentrates their grants in the health care arena, recent funding has been awarded to researchers interested in promoting health and reducing the harm associated with substance abuse in the form of tobacco, alcohol, and drugs, as well as the criminal events that arise from substance use and abuse problems.

The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation sponsors scholarly research on problems of violence, aggression, and dominance. The Guggenheim Foundation also provides funding for grants that explore various aspects of violence related to youth, family relationships, media effects, crime, biological factors, intergroup conflict related to religion, ethnicity and nationalism, political violence deployed in war and substate terrorism, as well as processes of peace and the control of aggression.

Research centers have also sprung up in universities nationwide. Early centers were attached to law schools and social science departments; however, since the early 1980s, research centers have been made part of a variety of criminal justice and sociology departments around the country. Perhaps the most interesting advent since the late 1960s has been the proliferation of graduate programs in criminology and criminal justice. In the 1970s, there were only two programs granting the Ph.D. degree in criminology and criminal justice. As of 1999, there were over twenty such programs within criminal justice, and many more that distribute Masters-level degrees in criminal justice. Further, a large number of programs granting the Ph.D. degree in sociology and psychology exist in which students can specialize in issues surrounding crime, law, psychopathy, deviance, and antisocial behavior. Many of these graduate programs are leaders in the dissemination of criminological, criminal justice, and violence research, including the University of Maryland, Carnegie Mellon University, State University New York–Albany, University of Cincinnati, Florida State University, Pennsylvania State University, University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, Northeastern University, Michigan State University, University of Missouri–St. Louis, Arizona State University, University of California–Irvine, University of Illinois–Chicago, American University, Rutgers University, University of Washington, Cambridge University, University of Montreal, University of Chicago, University of Wisconsin, Harvard University, and others.

Criminology and Criminal Justice Research: Organization - The Federal Impact On Research [next] [back] Criminology and Criminal Justice Research: Organization - Government-sponsored Research

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or