The Senate has confirmed David Hagy as director of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the U.S. Justice Department’s research agency. Hagy, who holds a political science Ph.D. from Tulane University, formerly served in the U.S. Homeland Security Department. He had been chief of staff and policy director for Harris County, TX, Judge Robert Eckels, managing policy on emergency management, transpotation, criminal justice, health, and the environment. In another shift at NIJ, criminologist Margaret Zahn next month will become chief of the agency’s Violence and Victimization Research Division. Zahn, a former president of the American Society of Criminology, had been serving on the sociology faculty at North Carolina State University and as principal investigator for the Study of Social Causes of Female Delinquency.
NIJ’s budget has been fairly stable in recent years. The total in fiscal year 2007 was $54 million, but only $11 million of that was devoted to social science research and evaluation. The Bush administration has proposed to eliminate an earmark of nearly $20 million for the agency’s National Law Enforcement aned Correcions Technology Centers, reports the Consortium of Social Science Associations. NIJ’s research and evaluation activities are curently undergoing a review by a committee of the National Academy of Sciences chaired by criminologist Charles Wellford of the University of Maryland.