NIJ is focused on advancing technology for criminal justice application including law enforecment and corrections, forensics, and judicial processes, as well as criminology, criminal justice, and related social science research. Much of this research is facilitated by providing grants to academic institutions, non-profit research organizations, and other entities, as well as collaborating with state and local governments. Areas of social science research include violence against women, corrections, and crime prevention, as well as program evaluation.
Grants for technology development help facilitate research and development of technology and tools for criminal justice application, which is a need that the private sector is otherwise reluctant to meet. NIJ also supports development of voluntary equipment performance standards, as well as conducting compliance testing. Areas of technology research and development include biometrics, communications interoperability, information technology, less-lethal technologies (e.g. tasers), and officer safety including bullet-proof vests. Crime mapping and analysis is a topic that includes both technology and social science (geography) aspects. The National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Centers, which are located throughout the United States, play a role in law enforcement technology development, testing, and dissemination.
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