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

Conversion of Criminal History Records into Research Databases (CCHRRD). For years, BJS has used information stored in the nation’s automated criminal history records to assess the officially-recognized, law-violating behavior of various samples of individuals.  To do recidivism studies, BJS has provided state criminal history repositories with identifying information on study subjects and has requested each participating state repository to extract selected information on each subject’s criminal justice activities, thus creating a reporting burden for participating repositories. In addition, the structure and content of the data extracted from these repositories varies from state to state requiring customized software to transform each state’s data into a commonly-formatted, researchable database.  In light of these challenges, only two national recidivism studies of released prisoners have been performed by BJS to date; the first in 1983 and the latest in 1994.  More

Dynamics of Methamphetamine Markets. The focus of the study is on understanding the organization, operation, and impact of different forms and combinations of meth markets in different communities.  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

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

Reintegration of Ex-Offenders Random Assignment Evaluation. daThe Reintegration of Ex-Offenders Random Assignment Evaluation Study (RExO), funded by Department of Labor, is designed to provide a rigorous, random assignment evaluation of a demonstration program serving formerly incarcerated individuals through employment-centered programs. The evaluation will examine impacts on participants’ post-program labor market outcomes and criminal recidivism by comparing the outcomes of participants to randomly-assigned individuals who are eligible for, but do not receive, services. 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 Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office): Developing a Brief Community Policing Self-Assessment Tool. This project will produce a brief self-assessment community policing instrument for police departments to evaluate their implementation of community policing.  This tool will facilitate internal planning, and inform training and management initiatives toward the full adoption of community policing. More

See all Criminal Justice and Violence projects