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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Law, Crime, and Justice

What factors affect whether a parolee stays out of prison or reoffends? What does research reveal about what makes policing effective in communities? What advances in behavioral science and neuroscience could help us better understand and reduce juvenile crime? We review and synthesize scientific research to help answer questions such as these, and produce reports that can aid policymakers in shaping policies and programs on crime deterrence, law enforcement, criminal justice, and terrorism. See also:


Reports

Addressing the Social and Cultural Norms That Underlie the Acceptance of ViolenceProceedings of a Workshop—in Brief  (BGH,BOCYF,CLAJ)
2018

Social and cultural norms are rules or expectations of behavior and thoughts based on shared beliefs within a specific cultural or social group. While often unspoken, norms offer social standards for... Read more


Identifying the Role of Violence and Its Prevention in the Post-2015 Global AgendaProceedings of a Workshop—in Brief  (BGH,BOCYF,CLAJ)
2018

To illuminate the role of violence and its prevention in the post-2015 global agenda, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s Forum on Global Violence Prevention convened a... Read more


The Neurocognitive and Psychosocial Impacts of Violence and TraumaProceedings of a Workshop—in Brief  (BGH,BOCYF,CLAJ)
2018

Childhood experiences, both positive and negative, can affect an individual’s health and opportunities as an adult and have far-reaching effects on future violence victimization and perpetration. To... Read more


Modernizing Crime Statistics: Report 2New Systems for Measuring Crime  (CNSTAT,CLAJ)
2018

To derive statistics about crime – to estimate its levels and trends, assess its costs to and impacts on society, and inform law enforcement approaches to prevent it - a conceptual framework for... Read more


Public Policy Approaches to Violence PreventionProceedings of a Workshop—in Brief  (BGH,BOCYF)
2018

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine held a workshop on December 1–2, 2016, with the aim of illuminating the ways in which violence prevention practitioners can effectively... Read more


Proactive PolicingEffects on Crime and Communities  (CLAJ)
2017

Proactive policing, as a strategic approach used by police agencies to prevent crime, is a relatively new phenomenon in the United States. It developed from a crisis in confidence in policing that... Read more


Improving Collection of Indicators of Criminal Justice System Involvement in Population Health Data ProgramsProceedings of a Workshop  (CNSTAT)
2017

In the U.S. criminal justice system in 2014, an estimated 2.2 million people were in incarcerated or under correctional supervision on any given day, and another 4.7 million were under community... Read more


Personnel Selection in the Pattern Evidence Domain of Forensic ScienceProceedings of a Workshop  (BOHSI)
2017

In July 2016 The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convened a workshop with the goal of bringing together industrial and organizational (I-O) psychologists, experts on... Read more


Modernizing Crime StatisticsReport 1: Defining and Classifying Crime  (CNSTAT,CLAJ)
2016

To derive statistics about crime – to estimate its levels and trends, assess its costs to and impacts on society, and inform law enforcement approaches to prevent it – a conceptual framework for... Read more


Support for Forensic Science ResearchImproving the Scientific Role of the National Institute of Justice  (CLAJ)
2015

Reliable and valid forensic science analytic techniques are critical to a credible, fair, and evidence-based criminal justice system. There is widespread agreement that the scientific foundation of... Read more


Understanding the U.S. Illicit Tobacco MarketCharacteristics, Policy Context, and Lessons from International Experiences  (CLAJ,BPH)
2015

Tobacco use has declined because of measures such as high taxes on tobacco products and bans on advertising, but worldwide there are still more than one billion people who regularly use tobacco,... Read more


Identifying the CulpritAssessing Eyewitness Identification  (CSTL,CLAJ)
2015

Eyewitnesses play an important role in criminal cases when they can identify culprits. Estimates suggest that tens of thousands of eyewitnesses make identifications in criminal investigations each... Read more


Implementing Juvenile Justice ReformThe Federal Role  (CLAJ)
2014

In the past decade, a number of state, local, and tribal jurisdictions have begun to take significant steps to overhaul their juvenile justice systems - for example, reducing the use of juvenile... Read more


The Growth of Incarceration in the United StatesExploring Causes and Consequences  (CLAJ)
2014

After decades of stability from the 1920s to the early 1970s, the rate of imprisonment in the United States more than quadrupled during the last four decades. The U.S. penal population of 2.2 million... Read more


Estimating the Incidence of Rape and Sexual Assault  (CNSTAT)
2014

The Bureau of Justice Statistics' (BJS) National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) measures the rates at which Americans are victims of crimes, including rape and sexual assault, but there is concern... Read more


Global Violence PreventionSix-Volume Set  (BGH,BOCYF,CLAJ)
2014

Violence - for example, child abuse, intimate partner violence, elder abuse, sexual violence, gang violence, and suicide - is a major public health problem worldwide. In 2001, violence accounted for... Read more


Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States  (BOCYF,CLAJ)
2013

Every day in the United States, children and adolescents are victims of commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking. Despite the serious and long-term consequences for victims as well as their... Read more


Health and IncarcerationA Workshop Summary  (CLAJ,BSP)
2013

Over the past four decades, the rate of incarceration in the United States has skyrocketed to unprecedented heights, both historically and in comparison to that of other developed nations. At far... Read more


Priorities for Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence  (EO,CLAJ)
2013

In 2010, more than 105,000 people were injured or killed in the United States as the result of a firearm-related incident. Recent, highly publicized, tragic mass shootings in Newtown, CT; Aurora, CO;... Read more


Reforming Juvenile JusticeA Developmental Approach  (CLAJ)
2013

Adolescence is a distinct, yet transient, period of development between childhood and adulthood characterized by increased experimentation and risk-taking, a tendency to discount long-term... Read more


Budgeting for Immigration EnforcementA Path to Better Performance  (CLAJ)
2011

Immigration enforcement is carried out by a complex legal and administrative system, operating under frequently changing legislative mandates and policy guidance, with authority and funding spread... Read more



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