|NIJ Directors (and Acting Directors)|
|W. Robert Burkhart||1982|
|James K. Stewart||1982–1990|
|Charles B. DeWitt||1990–1993|
|Michael J. Russell||1993–1994|
|Carol V. Petrie||1994|
|Sarah V. Hart||2001–2005|
|Glenn R. Schmitt||2005–June 2007|
|David Hagy||June 2007–January 2009|
|Kristina Rose||January 2009–June 2010|
|John H. Laub||June 2010–present|
The National Institute of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice was established in 1968, under the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, as a component of the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA). In 1978, it was renamed as the National Institute of Justice. Some functions of the LEAA were absorbed by NIJ on December 27, 1979, with passage of the Justice System Improvement Act of 1979. The Act, which amended the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, also led to creation of the Bureau of Justice Statistics. In 1982, the LEAA was succeeded by the Office of Justice Assistance, Research, and Statistics (1982–1984) and then the Office of Justice Programs in 1984.
NIJ is notable among U.S. governmental research organizations because it is headed by a political appointee of the President rather than by a scientist or a member of the civil service. NIJ is currently headed by John Laub.
In 2010, the United States National Research Council released a report on reforming the NIJ, and identified issues with its independence, budget, and scientific mission. While it considered making the NIJ separate from its current department, Office of Justice Programs, it recommended retaining the NIJ within the OJP but giving it increased independence and authority through clear qualifications for its director, control over its budget, and a statutory advisory board. It also recommended that the NIJ: (1) a focus on research rather than forensic capacity building activities,(2) increase funding for programs for graduate researchers, (3) increase transparency, and (4) do periodic self-assessments.
Read more about this topic: National Institute Of Justice
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