Attorney General Eric Holder is stressing “the power of evidence-based research” to fight crime. Speaking to the annual National Institute of Justice reserach and technology conference in northern Virginia, Holder noted that President Obama’s proposed budget for fiscal 2010 “calls for increased investment in scientific research, including criminology.” Holder said there is “an unfortunate and erroneous assumption that practitioners, including prosecutors and law enforcement officers, don't have an interest in examining research.”
The attorney general said NIJ recently released an evaluation of “Project Safe Neighborhood” programs that aim to reduce gun crimes. Research found that cities with coordinated, multi-level, and multi-disciplinary approaches involving enforcement, deterrence, and prevention strategies experienced a 4.1 percent decrease in violent crime, compared with a less than 1 percent decline elsewhere. In cities where federal prosecutors were most active, violent crime went down more than 13 percent, in contrast to an almost eight percent increase where federal prosecution was low. In the same conference, Acting Assistant Attorney General Laurie Robinson of the Office of Justice Progrms vowed that “science will once again be respected” at the Justice Department.