Researcher-Practitioner Fellows Academy

The Office of Justice Programs and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) in particular, have made a major commitment to advancing Evidence-Based Practice (EBP). BJA has accelerated the adoption and integration of research and evidence in the field by growing the number of BJA programs that require robust researcher-practitioner partnerships. BJA is promoting researcher-practitioner partnerships in order to implement data-driven approaches to reduce crime, improve community safety, reduce recidivism, and prevent unnecessary confinement.

 

The last two decades have witnessed increasing commitment from local to federal levels for the development of research capacity in local, state, federal, and Tribal criminal justice agencies. Such efforts are intended to encourage strategic problem solving and the integration of evidence-based strategies into practice for more effective, efficient, and economical criminal justice operations. One of the key benefits of the integration of research into criminal justice practice is that such analytical skills and processes support the development of highly focused interventions that have been shown to be the most effective in terms of crime prevention and control.

The Office of Justice Programs and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) in particular, have made a major commitment to advancing Evidence-Based Practice (EBP). BJA has accelerated the adoption and integration of research and evidence in the field by growing the number of BJA programs that require robust researcher-practitioner partnerships. BJA is promoting researcher-practitioner partnerships in order to implement data-driven approaches to reduce crime, improve community safety, reduce recidivism, and prevent unnecessary confinement. This model is evident in BJA’s “Innovations Suite” of programs.

To enhance the effectiveness of these Innovations Suite programs and to bring more “science” to the field, BJA has partnered with a team from the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University (MSU) to build an academy to help researchers and practitioners work more effectively and efficiently on crime reduction strategies. The BJA/MSU Innovations Suite Researcher Practitioner Fellows Academy (from here on referred to as the Fellows Academy) is a multi-day experience focusing on the importance of using science and data to: (a) support criminal justice planning and programming; (b) develop capacity to translate research into practice; (c) support the implementation of evidence-based practice; and (d) enhance public safety and improve the delivery of fair and cost effective justice. The Fellows Academy builds on MSU’s experience with PSN and similar data-driven initiatives as well as the Violent Crime Reduction Workshop that was originally developed for PSN research partners.

The Academy will perpetuate a “community of practice” and develop “Fellows,” by providing training in action research, linkage to proven processes and strategies, and supporting the Fellows and the partnerships through ongoing training and technical assistance (TTA). This will include a resource and communication network for continuous learning, support, and sharing of best practices. The objectives include creation of a network of researchers and organizations actively engaged in practitioner-researcher partnerships. The goal is to build capacity for identifying and responding to emerging and chronic crime problems, analysis of these problems, linking strategies to research-based practice, and developing a culture of experimentation to further develop and sustain evidence-based practice.

The first Fellows Academy was held on July 28-31, 2015 in East Lansing, MI, with a focus on research partners only. The second, expanded, four-person team, Academy was held on February 2-5, 2016 in Washington, DC.

Fellows Academy #3: July 19-22, 2016 in East Lansing, MI

Fellows Academy #4: February 7-10, 2017 in Denver, CO

Fellows Academy #5: July 25-28, 2017 in Lansing, MI

Fellows Academy #6: February 27- March 2, 2018 in Chicago, IL

Fellows Academy #7: July 31- August 3, 2018 in Denver, CO

Fellows Academy #8: April 23-26, 2019 in Denver, CO