NIJ Journal 275: NIJ Bulletin

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Publications in Brief

Selection and Application Guide to Ballistic-Resistant Body Armor

NIJ has released its Selection and Application Guide to Ballistic-Resistant Body Armor, which summarizes NIJ-funded and other research on body armor conducted during the past 13 years. This guide provides law enforcement, correctional and public safety officers with a better understanding of how body armor works and how it complies with the NIJ standard. It also provides guidance on purchasing and maintenance policies for NIJ-compliant body armor.

Read NIJ's Selection and Application Guide to Ballistic-Resistant Body Armor (pdf, 104 pages).

New Perspectives E-Publication

The first 12 papers from the NIJ and Harvard Executive Session on Policing and Public Safety are now available for e-readers. The Executive Sessions brought together police chiefs and researchers from across the country to develop concepts that could revolutionize policing and resolve current law enforcement issues. This first volume includes papers on police professionalism and leadership, the role of police in prisoner reentry, and making policing more affordable. The second volume is anticipated in early 2016.

Download the New Perspectives e-publication.

The Impact of Forensic Science Research and Development

Innovations from forensic science research and development have produced new and improved techniques that increase the reliability and efficiency of criminal investigations and forensic testing. A new brochure outlines how NIJ's investment in forensic science research and development, from validating the accuracy of firearms examiners to developing technology to identify illegal drugs, helps improve public safety and criminal justice outcomes by giving law enforcement and forensic scientists tools and procedures that work more efficiently and accurately.

Read the brochure, The Impact of Forensic Science Research and Development (pdf, 16 pages).

News & Events

NIJ Receives Two 2015 Blue Pencil Awards

Two NIJ publications won awards at the 2015 National Association of Government Communicators Blue Pencil & Gold Screen Awards competition. In this peer-reviewed competition that recognizes the best in federal, state and local communications, the NIJ Journal received an Award of Excellence in the "Magazine" category. Mending Justice: Sentinel Event Reviews, a special report that explores the potential to learn from errors in the criminal justice system by applying a sentinel event review approach, received a second-place award in the "Special Purpose Publication" category.

Read Mending Justice: Sentinel Event Reviews.

Read previous issues of the NIJ Journal.

Taryn Lindhorst and Jeffrey L. Edleson Receive 2015 Society for Social Work and Research Book Award

Congratulations to NIJ-supported researchers Taryn Lindhorst and Jeffrey L. Edleson, who have received the 2015 Society for Social Work and Research Book Award for Battered Women, Their Children and International Law: The Unintended Consequences of the Hague Child Abduction Convention. The book is based on their research into the experiences of female victims of domestic violence who are seeking safety in the U.S. only to have their children ordered to be returned to the country from which they fled.

Multimedia

The "Real World" of Dating Violence

In a Research for the Real World seminar, Peggy C. Giordano shares preliminary findings from a longitudinal study on the nature of teen dating relationships and risk factors for dating violence. The findings challenge traditional assumptions about gender in early relationships and how youth deal with disagreement. Conflict concerning financial issues, infidelity and time spent with peers are risk factors for violence among young adults. Giordano stresses that developing a more nuanced view of anger, control and communication could provide opportunities to change patterns of violence in relationships.

Watch the seminar, The "Real World" of Dating Violence in Adolescence and Young Adulthood.

Taking on the Challenge of Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits

In "Taking on the Challenge of Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits," experts from Detroit and Houston discuss the issues with which they grappled when processing and testing large numbers of sexual assault kits that had never been sent to the lab. These NIJ-funded projects brought together police, prosecutors, victims, victim-support providers and researchers to explore why so many unsubmitted sexual assault kits accumulated and to make recommendations on how best to notify victims and change policy and practice to prevent future buildups of kits.

Watch the webinar, Taking on the Challenge of Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits, on Harvard's Ash Center's YouTube channel. Exit Notice

Recent Research Findings

Natural Experiment in Reform: Analyzing Drug Policy Change in New York City

In 2009, New York state lawmakers passed legislation to reform the Rockefeller Drug Laws, removing mandatory minimum sentences for a range of felony drug offenses and expanding eligibility for treatment as an alternative to incarceration. An NIJ-funded study by the Vera Institute of Justice examined the impact these reforms had on felony drug cases in New York City. Findings showed a 35 percent increase in the number of defendants sent to treatment, which was associated with lower rates of re-arrest; and a decrease in the number of defendants sentenced to jail, time served and "split sentences" (a combination of jail and probation). However, implementation varied widely across boroughs, and the majority of drug arrests did not lead to diversion to treatment.

Read the report, A Natural Experiment in Reform: Analyzing Drug Policy Change in New York City (pdf, 274 pages).

Understanding the Organization, Operation and Victimization Process of Labor Trafficking in the United States

Researchers at the Urban Institute and Northeastern University who explored patterns of labor trafficking in the U.S. found that trafficking occurs in multiple industries, including agriculture, hospitality, construction and restaurants. Labor trafficking is not limited to unauthorized workers; 72 percent of the sample entered the U.S. on a temporary visa, and the threat of removing that immigration status was the traffickers' primary tool for coercing labor. The report outlines policy and practice implications for federal and local law enforcement and victims' services agencies.

Read the report, Understanding the Organization, Operation and Victimization Process of Labor Trafficking in the United States (pdf, 306 pages).

Miami-Dade Research Study for the Reliability of the ACE-V Process: Accuracy and Precision in Latent Fingerprint Examinations

Researchers working with the Miami-Dade Police Department tested the accuracy and reliability of decisions made by latent fingerprint examiners. The researchers presented examiners with comparison challenges of varying degrees of difficulty and used the Analysis, Comparison and Evaluation (ACE) procedure to make decisions. A verification (ACE-V) stage was added to measure how often individual examiners repeated their own decisions and how often different examiners came to the same conclusion, including under biasing conditions. Results showed that even when examiners did not get an independent second opinion about their decisions, they were remarkably accurate. When an independent reviewer verified decisions, examiners had a 0 percent false-positive (incorrect identification) rate and a 3 percent false-negative (missed identification) rate.

Read the report, Miami-Dade Research Study for the Reliability of the ACE-V Process: Accuracy and Precision in Latent Fingerprint Examinations (pdf, 79 pages).

Date Created: September 8, 2015