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$405,450 award aimed at improving state-funded criminal justice

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An Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis research center is receiving a $405,450 award from the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute to study and help improve the effectiveness of state-funded criminal justice initiatives.

The ICJI gave the award to the Center for Criminal Justice Research at IUPUI, according to a news release issued July 7.

Set-up as a two-year project, the CCJR will examine criminal justice efforts financed by 10 state funding streams and compare those to what is happening nationwide, then identify what works the best for Indiana and how it might be improved.

Designed as the state’s planning agency for criminal and juvenile justice, the ICJI is turning to the academic research center to synthesize the most current information both statewide and nationally and make sure Indiana is making the best data-driven decisions when distributing funds and establishing policies.

The first stage will identify those types of programs that have proven to be the most effective. In the second stage, the project will catalog existing criminal justice data to help make criminal justice decisions for the state. A key component of this second stage will be to identify gaps in available data that limit the state’s ability to make evidence-based criminal justice decisions.

Some of the types of initiatives that will be studied include police activities to determine if they are effective at preventing crime, substance abuse treatment programs, victims’ services, and various alternatives in the juvenile justice system.

“The goal is to help ensure the state’s allocation of criminal justice dollars is sound and based on cutting-edge research,” said Thomas D. Stucky, principal investigator and director of criminal justice and public safety programs at IUPUI’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs, where the center is housed. “When this project is complete, the state of Indiana will better understand how to distribute its criminal justice dollars most effectively.”

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