Blog Archives

GAO Report on Firearm Storage Highlights Lack of Federal Funding for Gun Research

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released a report entitled Personal Firearms: Programs that Promote Safe Storage and Research on Their Effectiveness that compiles information on public and non-profit programs promoting safe storage of personal firearms and the results of research on the effectiveness of such programs. The report was produced at the request of 19 Democratic senators, including Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), the Ranking Member of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP). The report finds that “there is relatively little research on safe firearm storage,” and that “lack of funding and data” is often cited as a primary reason. According to the report, funding shortages and instability has limited the research on firearm safety and storage that could have been conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The report cites an analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that compared available funding and publication volume for research on various leading causes of death and found that “research on firearms receives disproportionately low funding and has fewer publications compared to other top causes of death.” The lack of funding can lead to shortage of expertise in the field. One researcher interviewed told the GAO that “he discourages new students from firearm research exclusively because they will not be able to make a living in that research area alone.” Further, a shortage of high-quality data on firearms exacerbates the difficulty of conducting research in this area. The CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) has not included questions related to firearm safety since 2004. However, the CDC does plan to add a module on firearms in the 2017 survey, on the recommendation of the National Academy of Medicine.

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Posted in Issue 21 (October 31), Update, Volume 36 (2017)

NIJ Releases New Policing Research Strategic Plan

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the research and evaluation arm of the Department of Justice, has released a five-year strategic plan for policing research. Priorities include promoting and supporting research to optimize workforce development for officers and civilian personnel, promoting and supporting research on policing practices, and promoting and supporting research on the relationship between policing and communities. More information can be found here.

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Posted in Issue 17 (September 5), Update, Volume 36 (2017)

Senate CJS Bill Approved by Committee; Congress Leaves for Recess

On July 27, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the fiscal year (FY) 2018 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations Bill; the bill was marked up in subcommittee on July 25. In addition, the House Appropriations Committee advanced its version of the CJS bill on July 13 (check out COSSA’s coverage of this and other FY 2018 appropriations bills). The CJS bill serves as the vehicle for annual appropriations for the National Science Foundation (NSF), Census Bureau, Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), National Institute of Justice (NIJ), Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), and many other federal departments and agencies. The next step for the bill is consideration by the full Senate. However, now that Congress has left town for the August recess, we will not see floor action until after Labor Day at the earliest.

Read on for COSSA’s analysis of the Senate Appropriations Committee’s proposals for the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Census Bureau, and Bureau of Economic Analysis.

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Posted in Issue 16 (August 8), Update, Volume 36 (2017)

NIJ Publishes Two Reports on School Safety

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the research and evaluation agency of the Department of Justice, has published two reports as part of their Comprehensive School Safety Initiative. This research-focused initiative began in response to high-profile incidents of school violence and aims to identify causes of school violence, increase school safety, and implement policies for safer schools. The two reports released on July 28 are Summary of School Safety Statistics, which includes data collected by researchers as well as federal agencies, and States’ Roles in Keeping Schools Safe: Opportunities and Challenges for State School Safety Centers and Other Actors, which includes insight from school safety officers from 20 states.  

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Posted in Issue 16 (August 8), Update, Volume 36 (2017)

President Appoints David Muhlhausen to Lead National Institute of Justice

On July 11, President Trump appointed David Muhlhausen to serve as the Director of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). Muhlhausen joins NIJ from the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis where he is a Research Fellow in Empirical Policy Analysis. Muhlhausen holds a doctorate in public policy from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and a bachelor’s degree in political science and justice studies from Frostburg State University and has served as an adjunct professor at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government.

Through NIJ, the Department of Justice works to improve knowledge and understanding of crime and justice issues through science. NIJ supports extramural research at educational institutions, local and state agencies, faith-based organizations, other federal agencies, and federally-funded research and development centers.

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Posted in Issue 15 (July 25), Update, Volume 36 (2017)

COSSA Testimony Calls for Increased Funding for NSF, NIJ, Census, and Other Agencies

On April 21, COSSA submitted testimony to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies for fiscal year (FY) 2018. The testimony calls for increased funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institute of Justice (NIJ), Bureau of Justice Statistics, and the Census Bureau. You can read this and other statements on the COSSA website.

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Posted in Issue 9 (May 2), Update, Volume 36 (2017)

Criminologists Call for Keeping Science at DOJ

In a statement published in the Washington Post entitled “Keep Science in the Department of Justice,” 25 former presidents of the American Society of Criminology, a COSSA governing member, argue that politics should not intrude in the science-based approach of the National Institute of Justice and the Bureau of Justice Statistics. The statement outlines recommendations to the President and Attorney General as they appoint leaders of these agencies. Priorities include maintaining standards of scientific integrity, improving existing data tools, and promoting evidence-based policies.

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Posted in Issue 8 (April 18), Update, Volume 36 (2017)

COSSA Calls for Congress to Complete FY 2017 Appropriations Process

In a letter to House and Senate appropriators on the Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Subcommittees, COSSA called for speedy completion of the FY 2017 appropriations process. The letter also urges strong appropriations for the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, and Census Bureau. The letter is available on the COSSA website.

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Posted in Issue 5 (March 7), Update, Volume 36 (2017)

Nancy Rodriguez Leaves National Institute of Justice

After serving as Director of the National Institute of Justice since February 2015, Dr. Nancy Rodriguez announced her departure from the agency on January 13. In her farewell message, Director Rodriguez highlighted a path forward for the agency’s research objectives and called for continued multidisciplinary collaboration. The National Institute of Justice is the research, development, and evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice. Former Deputy Director Howard Spivak will serve as the Acting Director until a presidential appointment has been made.

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Posted in Issue 2 (January 24), Update, Volume 36 (2017)

Funding Opportunity Announcements

NIH Opportunities:

  • FIC: Planning for Non-Communicable Diseases and Disorders Research Training Programs in Low and Middle Income Countries (D71) (PAR-17-097)
  • NIDA/NIMH: Implementation Science for the Prevention and Treatment of Mental and/or Substance use Disorders in Low- and Middle-income Countries (U01) (RFA-MH-17-650)
  • NIGMS: Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (R35) (PAR-17-094)
  • NIH: Administrative Supplements for Research on Sexual and Gender Minority (SGM) Populations (Admin Supp) (PA-17-098) [NCATS, NCCIH, NCI, NHGRI, NIA, NIAAA, NIAID, NIAMS, NIDA, NIDCD, NIDCR, NIMH, NIMHD, NINR, OAR, ODP, ORWH]
  • NIH: Jointly Sponsored Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award for Institutional Predoctoral Training Programs in the Neurosciences (T32) (PAR-17-096) [NINDS, NIA, NIDA, NIGMS, NIMH]
  • NIH: Research on the Health of Women of Underrepresented, Understudied and Underreported (U3) Populations An ORWH FY17 Administrative Supplement (Admin Supp) (PA-17-101) [ORWH, NCATS, NEI, NHGRI, NHLBI, NIAAA, NIAID, NBIB, NICHD, NIDA, NIDCD, NIDCR, NIDDK, NIEHS, NIGMS, NIMH, NIMHD, NINDS, NINR, OBSSR, ODP]
  • NIMHD: Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for NIMHD Specialized Centers of Excellence for Research on Minority Health and Health Disparities (U54) (NOT-MD-17-001)

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Posted in Issue 1 (January 10), Update, Volume 36 (2017)

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