In May of 2022 Dr. Nancy La Vigne became the Director of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the research, development, and evaluation arm of the U.S. Department of Justice within the Office of Justice Programs. Each year NIJ invests roughly $80 million in grants for social and behavioral research and evaluation, forensic and investigative sciences, and technology and standards development and testing. NIJ also spends considerable effort and resources in ensuring that the research funded is accessible to the policymaker, practitioner, and advocacy communities to inform improvements in public safety, equitable access to justice, and effective justice systems policies and practices.
As a leader of a key stakeholder group in the field of safety and justice, ASCLD President Jennifer Naugle was invited to attend a listening session with Director La Vigne so that she could learn about ASCLD’s views regarding key research needs for the forensic science field. In addition, Director La Vigne shared her research priorities and vision for NIJ’s future investments. President Elect Tim Kupferschmid and Director Mike Cariola represented President Naugle at the October 20th listening session. A “leave behind” document was prepared by President Naugle and the Board of Directors which contained ASCLD’s research priorities and how they are aligned with NIJ’s Forensic Science Strategic Research Plan 2022-2026. You can read the leave behind document here.