Explorations of the causes of, responses to, and attitudes about crime and violence make up one of the deepest and most varied portions of NORC’s project portfolio. To conduct that work, NORC has assembled a group of talented researchers whose areas of expertise include law enforcement, crime prevention, indigent defense, human trafficking, courts and sentencing, and teen dating violence. Our researchers have surveyed law enforcement agencies and prosecutors about their policies and practices, assessed the impact of programs to re‑integrate ex‑offenders into society, and examined the dynamics of methamphetamine markets, among many other initiatives. As part of our work with the Bureau of Justice Statistics, NORC developed a software package that converts state criminal history records into nationally standardized codes that clarify the extent to which former prisoners return to criminal activity.
The General Social Survey provides a wealth of data on American attitudes toward the law and law enforcement, and NORC has created a public‑use database from the 1997 cohort of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth data to establish a research agenda to understand the social, economic, and educational factors that influence recidivism rates.