The National Institute of Justice, the U.S. Justice Department’s research agency, will have itself evaluated. NIJ will give the National Research Council, an arm of the National Academy of Sciences, more than $1 million to perform an independent evaluation of NIJ’s work, acting NIJ director Glenn Schmitt told the American Society of Criminology yesterday at its annual convention in Los Angeles.
Criminologists have complained about declining federal dollars for research on crime in recent years. Schmitt said the evaluation, which may take two years to complete, should prove to be a good tool to tell Congress, the executive branch of government, and the public what NIJ needs to perform timely research on crime. Schmitt noted that next year marks the 30th anniversary of the last similar evaluation of federal crime research. He said that NIJ should “practice what it preaches” by evaluating its own work as well as the work of others.