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Last modified: Thursday, July 7, 2011

IUPUI research center lands grant to review Indiana’s criminal justice programs

July 7, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI) has awarded $405,450 to the Center for Criminal Justice Research (CCJR) at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis for a project that will help improve the effectiveness of state-funded criminal justice initiatives.

The project will look at efforts financed by 10 state funding streams, compare those to efforts nationwide, and identify the characteristics of those that work best.

"The goal is to help ensure the state's allocation of criminal justice dollars is sound and based on cutting-edge research," said principal investigator Thomas D. Stucky, associate professor and director of Criminal Justice and Public Safety Programs at the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) at IUPUI, where CCJR is housed. "When this project is complete, the state of Indiana will better understand how to distribute its criminal justice dollars most effectively."

The first stage of the two-year project will identify those types of programs that have been shown to be the most effective. The second stage will catalog existing criminal justice data to help make data-driven criminal justice decisions. 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.

"We are turning to CCJR to synthesize the most current information available from a variety of resources nationwide as well as our own records here in Indiana," said Mark Massa, executive director of ICJI. "Going forward, this will help ensure that the state is making data-driven decisions when it distributes funds and establishes policies."

As examples of the kinds of initiatives that will be studied, Stucky said, "We'll look at police activities -- which are effective at preventing crime, and which aren't? What are the characteristics of the most effective programs, in areas such as substance abuse treatment, victims' services and juvenile justice?"

"The state's Criminal Justice Institute is too busy doing its own work to tackle a research project of this size," said Terry Baumer, executive associate dean of SPEA. "Our researchers keep up with best practices in criminal justice and can apply what they learn to benefit the people of Indiana, which is what SPEA is all about."

The Center for Criminal Justice Research is an affiliate of the Indiana University Public Policy Institute, which is housed in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI. For more information on SPEA, visit, and to learn more about CCJR, visit

The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute is the state agency that administers federal and state funding for Indiana's criminal and juvenile justice systems. For more information, visit