U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs; National Institute of Justice The Research, Development, and Evaluation Agency of the U.S. Department of Justice U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice ProgramsNational Institute of JusticeThe Research, Development, and Evaluation Agency of the U.S. Department of Justice

Partnerships: Coming Together to Study Crime & Solutions — A Message from the Director

This is the second in a series of conversations with John Laub, Ph.D., Director of the National Institute of Justice.

John Laub I think one of the things that I've appreciated now, at my ninth month anniversary, compared to when I walked in the door, is the importance of partnership with our sister agencies.

That is absolutely crucial in terms of coming together around common problems of interest—the study of crime and the study of the criminal justice system—and also as we work together in the era of shrinking resources. Partnerships are going to be vital as we move forward to be able to be more efficient, to consolidate our work, and to inform each other about our work.

The Synergy Between Statistical Systems and Research

Let me give you a couple of examples. With respect to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, it makes the most sense for the statistical systems to be informed by research, and as those statistical systems get developed, those statistical systems then can be used by the research community. And through the use of those statistical systems, you not only generate evidence to link to policy and practice, but you also are able to identify gaps in those very statistical systems that then have to be adapted for further study and so forth. And so it's a synergy between the statistical systems on the one hand and the research and the evaluation on the other hand, and that makes for much more efficiencies across the board.

At the same time, there are things going on in the field that are innovative, where there's no research evidence available about whether or not they work, they don't work, they partially work, what have you. And that's an opportunity for the Bureau of Justice Assistance and NIJ to partner together to identify promising, innovative programs and then to construct demonstrated field experiments to evaluate their effectiveness across multiple sites.

Working Together to Learn More About Chronic, Repeat Victimization

Well, another idea that we had and we were able to just launch this last week was a seminar series, a joint seminar series between the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the National Institute of Justice. And so we had our first speaker, who was from the Bureau of Justice, a visiting fellow, last week. She talked about her work on chronic victimization. We had a great turnout of both BJS staff and NIJ staff and through the Q&A, we were able to develop clear questions about how we could improve statistical systems—to add items to particular ongoing surveys, or, in fact, to create new surveys—and also how we could use some of our ongoing research and evaluation to inform what is an extremely important topic for the field—chronic repeat victimization.

What is Chronic, Repeat Victimization?

The idea of somebody being victimized multiple times is of interest on a variety of fronts. It's of interest to police agencies as a way of reducing victimization because in the same way that we know that crime is concentrated amongst certain individuals, the question is, when we look at the crime problem, to what extent is chronic victimization also part of this concentrated crime problem? We also know in areas like domestic violence there's lots of evidence to suggest that repeat victimization is common. We also know in a school context with respect to bullying, repeat victimization is common, so the issue of repeat victimization cuts across several important domains, and one of the things that we would like to do in conjunction with the Bureau of Justice Statistics is identify better data on that very topic and also then to begin to do research and evaluation of programs that are designed to reduce and prevent repeat victimization.

[End of video clip]

This is the second in a series of conversations with John Laub, Ph.D., Director of the National Institute of Justice.

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Director's Corner
June 2011
John H. Laub, Director, National Institute of Justice

This is the second in a series of conversations with John Laub discussing the most recent efforts by the National Institute of Justice to build stronger ties with the Bureau of Justice Statistics to solve crime problems.

NIJ Director's Corner | NIJ's Multimedia Page

Date modified: June 1, 2011