Criminal Justice and Violence

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.

Representative Projects

2010 National Survey of Prosecutors. Since 1990, the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) has periodically sponsored the National Survey of Prosecutors (NSP) to collect data on the resources, policies, and practices of local chief prosecutors in state court systems. The information collected covers staffing and operations, innovative prosecution techniques, felony and misdemeanor caseloads, prosecution of computer-related crimes, juvenile offenses, and use of DNA evidence.​​ More

2012 Census of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies (CSLLEA). To provide an accurate sampling frame for the Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS) program, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) periodically sponsors the Census of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies (CSLLEA).  More

2012 National Survey of Indigent Defense Systems (NSIDS). Sponsored by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), the 2012 National Survey of Indigent Defense Systems (NSIDS) will gather data about the manner by which defense services are provided to indigent people accused of crime for which they may be jailed or imprisoned under states' laws in each county and state throughout the United States.  More

Evaluating the Impact of the NIJ Body Armor Program: A Time Series Analysis. Funded by the Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of  Justice Programs (OJP), National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the purpose of this evaluation is to assess the impact of the NIJ Body Armor program in changing law enforcement policy and practice and the body armor industry in the design, quality, and consistency of armor produced for law enforcement.   More

Evaluation of the Second Chance Act Adult Demonstration Projects. Funded by the National Institute of Justice, this project is designed to evaluate the Second Chance programs which were designed to facilitate the successful re-entry of prisoners to their communities and include strategies to reduce recidivism and subsequent criminal behavior, enhance employment and earnings, facilitate retraining, stabilize housing, and reduce substance abuse.​​​​ More

Methodological Research to Support the Redesign of the National Crime Victimization Survey: An Examination of a Twelve-Month Reference Period. For this project, NORC will address methods of improving event recall with the 6-month reference period for the telephone interview modes, and assesses respondent burden.  More

National Former Prisoner Survey. The National Former Prisoner Survey (FPS) is one of a series of major studies undertaken by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice, in response to congressional mandates in the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003. The National Former Prisoner Survey was conducted by NORC in 2008 and was designed to provide national estimates of sexual violence within prisons.​ More

Recidivism in the NLSY97. NORC will create a public-use database from the 1997 cohort of the NLSY data to establish a research agenda to understand the social, economic, and educational factors that influence recidivism rates and successful reentry into society. More

Survey of State and Local Justice Agencies Serving Tribal Lands (SLJASTL). ​Very little is known about the work that state and local justice agencies perform on tribal lands. The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) has funded a new program to collect information to fill this knowledge gap. This program, called the State and Local Justice Agencies Serving Tribal Lands (SLJASTL), will collect data from all state and local law enforcement agencies that provide services on tribal lands and from all state prosecutor offices that have jurisdiction to prosecute cases when the crime occurred on tribal lands. More

The Interpersonal Conflict and Resolution (iCOR) Study. ​​NORC has been awarded a grant from the National Institute of Justice to conduct a study that examines conflict in interpersonal relationships and the overlap between victim and offender statuses. Nearly five decades of research has revealed a strong association between criminal offending and victimization. This 31-month project will investigate the etiology of the victim-offender overlap through the design and application of new measurement tools to understand the nature of interpersonal conflicts including mechanisms that generate conflict escalation.
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See all Criminal Justice and Violence projects