The 2011 NIJ Conference: Translational Criminology - Shaping Policy and Practice With Research

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Overview

More than 1,200 researchers, policymakers and practitioners from the local, state and federal levels assembled for the annual NIJ Conference, June 20-22, 2011. They shared findings from the most recent crime and criminal justice studies, explored the implications of those findings for both practice and policy, and renewed old relationships and made new ones. 

It was the first NIJ Conference for NIJ's new director, John H. Laub. He selected the theme, "Translational Criminology: Shaping Policy and Practice," to emphasize the importance of using research to inform decisions related to crime policies and improving justice. 

Conference participants had many opportunities to attend workshops, to learn about new methods and technologies, to hear about promising research breakthroughs, and to participate in expert panel discussions.

The conference featured eight breakout session tracks:

  • Shaping the Future
  • Corrections Courts
  • Forensic Policy
  • Forensic Technical
  • Policing and Public Safety
  • Violence and Victimization

Keynote Addresses

Keynote addresses at the 2011 NIJ Conference were delivered by Lawrence Bobo, W.E.B. DuBois Professor of the Social Sciences, Harvard University, and the Honorable Eric H. Holder, Jr., Attorney General. Select a link below to view their addresses.

Title and Date
Link to Media
The Importance of Research on Race, Crime and Punishment
Lawrence Bobo, W.E.B. DuBois Professor of the Social Sciences, Harvard University
NIJ Conference
Keynote Address
June 2011
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Video of the address (00:30:00)


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The Honorable Eric H. Holder, Jr., Attorney General
NIJ Conference
Keynote Address
June 2011
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Text of the Attorney General Holder's remarks.

Plenary Panels

Plenary panels at the 2011 NIJ Conference examined translational criminology and the advances of science in the ten years since 9/11 .

Title and DateLink to Media
Translational Criminology and the Science of Community
NIJ Conference
Plenary Panel
June 2011

The Monday panel examined the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods, along with its implications for thinking about community capacity and crime.

Research shows that healthy communities share basic values: neighbors look out for one another and social connections are strong. A groundbreaking study from one of the largest research projects funded by the National Institute of Justice — the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods — produced important understandings about community well-being and the relationship between neighborhoods and crime. The panelists on this plenary session discussed the Project as well as drew from their own experiences to describe how (the) research affects their diverse and changing communities.

Moderator: John H. Laub, Director, National Institute of Justice
Panelists:
  • Edward Davis, Police Commissioner, Boston Police Department
  • Michael Davis, Chief of Police, Brooklyn Park Police Department, Brooklyn Park, Minnesota
  • Robert Sampson, Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences, Harvard University
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Video of the panel (01:12:01)


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10-Year Anniversary of 9/11: Advances in Science From Tragedy
NIJ Conference
Plenary Panel
June 2011

In the second plenary, Gary LaFree, discusses advances in research and social science that occurred as a result of the national tragedy.

Moderator: John Laub, Director, National Institute of Justice
Speakers:

  • Gary LaFree, Director, National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Response to Terrorism, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Jay Nunamaker, Director and Principal Investigator, Center for the Management of Information, National Center for Border Security and Immigration
  • Robert Shaler, Professor, Pennsylvania State University (ret.)
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Video of the presentation (00:23:57)


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Translating Science: A Town Hall on the Challenges
NIJ Conference
Plenary Panel
June 2011

Wednesday's plenary brought together the leaders of several federal science agencies for a discussion about the challenges of using scientific discoveries to shape policy and practice.

Moderator: John H. Laub, Director, National Institute of Justice
Panelists:
  • David Chambers, Associate Director for Dissemination and Implementation Research, National Institute of Mental Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Patrick Gallagher, Director, National Institute of Standards and Technology, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Linda Mellgren, Senior Social Science Analyst, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • John Easton, Director, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education
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NIJ Conference 2011: Recorded Panels

Title and DateLink to Media
Familial DNA Searching: Issues and Answers
NIJ Conference
Panel
June 2011

Familial DNA searching is the practice of creating new investigative leads in cases where DNA evidence found at the scene of a crime strongly resembles that of an existing DNA profile but is not an exact match. Panelists will explain how the technology works, provide examples of successful convictions obtained through familial searches, and discuss the various misconceptions and concerns regarding this practice.

Moderator: Kristina Rose, Deputy Director, National Institute of Justice
Panelists:
  • Stephen Mercer, Chief Attorney, Forensics Division, Office of the Public Defender, Baltimore, Maryland
  • Mitch Morrissey, District Attorney, Denver District Attorney's Office
  • Steven R. Siegel, Director of Program Development, Denver District Attorney's Office
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The National Broadband (Communications) Plan: Issues for Public Safety
NIJ Conference
Panel
June 2011

The Federal Communications Commission delivered the National Broadband Plan in March 2010. As part of the plan, the FCC proposed a strategy for implementing a national public safety broadband network that would allow public safety responders anywhere in the nation to send and receive critical voice, video and data to save lives, reduce injuries, and prevent acts of crime and terror. How this strategy is implemented will have a significant impact on criminal justice and other public safety agencies nationwide, both with respect to operational capability and to resources. There are competing views of how this plan should be implemented, each with its pros and cons. This panel illuminates those issues from both sides of the debate.

Moderator: Marisa Chun, Deputy Associate Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice
Panelists:
  • James Barnett, Rear Admiral (ret.), Chief, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, Federal Communication Commission
  • Anna Gomez, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and Deputy Administrator, National Telecommunications and Information Administration
  • Allan Sadowski, IT Manager, North Carolina State Highway Patrol
  • Gregory Schaffer, Acting Deputy Under Secretary, National Protection and Programs Directorate, Department of Homeland Security
  • Bill Schrier, Chief Technology Officer, City of Seattle, Washington
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How Collaboration Between Researchers and Police Chiefs Can Improve the Quality of Sexual Assault Investigations: A Look at Los Angeles
NIJ Conference
Panel
June 2011

Panelists discuss the application of research findings from an NIJ-sponsored study of sexual assault attrition to police practice in Los Angeles. There are three main focal points: (1) the mutual benefits of researcher/practitioner partnerships, (2) the implications of variation in police interpretation of UCR guidelines specific to clearing sexual assault (with an emphasis on cases involving nonstrangers), and (3) the content of specialized training that must be required for patrol officers and detectives who respond to and investigate sex crimes.

Moderator: Bethany Backes, Social Science Analyst, National Institute of Justice
Panelists:
  • Joanne Archambault, Executive Director, End Violence Against Women
  • Robert Casey, Chief, Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Michel Moore, Director, Office of Special Operations, Los Angeles Police Department
  • Cassia Spohn, Professor, Arizona State University, Phoenix
  • Katharine Tellis, Assistant Professor, California State University, Los Angeles
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Recorded presentation (01:21:56)


Transcript of the panel
The Evaluation of NIJ by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences: NIJ's Response
NIJ Conference
Panel
June 2011

The National Academies conducted a comprehensive evaluation of the National Institute of Justice. This panel provides an overview of the evaluation and NIJ's response to it. NIJ has accepted many of the recommendations in the NRC report, and you will learn what the agency is doing to implement them. A few of the recommendations were challenging and created considerable debate within NIJ. Plans to address these thorny issues also are discussed.

Moderator: Thomas Feucht, Executive Senior Science Advisor, National Institute of Justice
Panelists:
  • Daniel Nagin, Professor of Public Policy and Statistics, Teresa and H. John Heinz III University, Carnegie Mellon University
  • John H. Laub, Director, National Institute of Justice
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State Responses to Mass Incarceration
NIJ Conference
Panel
June 2011

Researchers have devoted considerable attention to mass incarceration, specifically its magnitude, costs, and collateral consequences. In the face of economic constraints, strategies to reduce correctional populations while maintaining public safety are becoming a fiscal necessity. This panel will present strategies that states have undertaken to reduce incarceration rates while balancing taxpayer costs with ensuring public safety.

Moderator: Nadine Frederique, Social Science Analyst, National Institute of Justice
Panelists:
  • Jake Horowitz, Manager of the Public Safety Performance Project, The Pew Charitable Trusts
  • Marc Levin, Director of the Center for Effective Justice, Texas Public Policy Foundation
  • Ed Rhine, Deputy Director, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction
Still image linking to the recorded panel State Responses to Mass Incarceration

Recorded presentation (01:21:31)


Transcript of the panel
Human Factors in Latent Print Examination
NIJ Conference
Panel
June 2011

The NIJ-sponsored Expert Working Group on Human Factors in Latent Print Analysis is clarifying potential sources of error in pattern recognition analysis. It will develop best practices to remove or minimize these sources. NIJ is addressing recommendations in the 2009 National Academy of Sciences' report titled "Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward." Specifically, the panelists focus on recommendation 5, which encourages research programs on human observer bias and sources of human error in forensic examinations.

Moderator: Melissa Taylor, Program Manager, Office of Law Enforcement Standards, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Panelists:
  • Deborah Boehm-Davis, Professor, George Mason University
  • Melissa Gische, Physical Scientist, Latent Print Operations Unit, Federal Bureau of Investigation Laboratory
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Recorded presentation (01:04:10)


Transcript of the panel

Interviews

Brief interviews with panelists and presenters on a variety of criminal justice topics were recorded at the 2011 NIJ Conference.

Title and DateLink to Media
Collaboration Between Researchers and Law Enforcement Agencies
Michel Moore, Director, Office of Special Operations, Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles, Calif.
NIJ Conference
June 2011
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Video of the interview (00:02:59)


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Translating Science from Research Agencies to Policymakers and Practitioners
Patrick Gallagher, Director, National Institute of Standards and Technology
NIJ Conference
June 2011
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Video of the interview (00:02:43)


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Crimesolutions.gov: "What Works" in Criminal Justice, Juvenile Justice and Crime Victim Services
Edward Latessa, University of Cincinnati
NIJ Conference
June 2011
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Keeping Police Officers Safe on the Road
John E. Shanks, National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund
NIJ Conference
June 2011
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Beyond Community Policing: The Importance of Community Building
Michael Davis, Chief of Police, Brooklyn Park Police Department, Minn.
NIJ Conference
June 2011
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Video of the interview (00:03:01)


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Action Research and the Community to Criminal Justice Feedback Loop
Edward Davis, Police Commissioner, Boston Police Department, Mass,
NIJ Conference
June 2011
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Diminishing Resources & Gang Prevention
Mario Maciel, Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services, San Jose, Calif.
NIJ Conference
June 2011
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Preventing Kids From Gang-Joining: Collaboration Matters
Tom Simon, Centers for Disease Control
NIJ Conference
June 2011
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Video of the interview (00:23:17)


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A Look at NIJ Standards and Testing
NIJ Conference
Interview
June 2011
Debra Stoe, National Institute of Justice
Tom Sharkey, National Bomb Squad Advisory Committee
Ed Bailor, U.S. Capitol Police (ret.).
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Learning from 9/11: Forensic Science and Identifying Human Remains
NIJ Conference
Interview
June 2011
Robert Shaler, Pennsylvania State University (ret.).
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Terrorism Research Before and After 9/11
NIJ Conference
Interview
June 2011
Gary LaFree, Director of the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism, University of Maryland
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Video of the interview (00:02:08)


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Making Community Supervision Safer through Electronic Monitoring
NIJ Conference
Interview
June 2011
George Drake, Community Corrections Program Manager, Corrections Technology Center of Excellence
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Video of the interview (00:02:56)


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The Stockholm Prize in Criminology
NIJ Conference
Interview
June 2011
John Laub, Director, National Institute of Justice
Robert Sampson, Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences, Harvard University

NIJ Director John H. Laub, and his long-time research partner Robert J. Sampson  received the 2011 Stockholm Prize in Criminology. They received the award for their research on how and why criminals stop offending. Doctors Laub and Sampson discuss their work on longest life-course study of criminal behavior ever conducted. They found that even highly active criminals can stop committing crimes after key turning points in life. These turning points include marriage, military service, employment and the joining of other institutions and social networks that result in a cutting off of one's ties to offending peer groups.
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Video of the interview (5 segments, 00:23:17)


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Date Modified: August 24, 2011