A portion of the Edward J. Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant funding has been designated for research and evaluation projects. The following projects were selected through a competitive process:
Massachusetts Prisoner Reentry Recidivism Study
The Urban Institute received funding to analyze differences between recidivist and non-recidivist released prisoners in Massachusetts to better understand the factors that impact individuals returning to prison. The research team will analyze administrative data to identify differences between recidivists and non-recidivists, interview a sample of 200 male recidivists, and conduct focus groups with parole officers to help identify factors that led to re-offending in this population. Findings and recommendations will be disseminated via reports and discussions with Massachusetts re-entry stakeholders.
Youth, Gangs, and Witness Intimidation
The National Center for Victims of Crime was awarded funding to examine the critical factors that deter youth witnesses from reporting crimes and testifying against perpetrators. Through partnerships with local Boys and Girls Clubs, on-line interviews will be conducted with youth in communities that are dealing with gang-related problems. Funding will also be used to help identify policies and programs that encourage victim and witness cooperation. The goal of this study is to create a picture of gang-related witness intimidation in selected communities from a youth perspective.
Enhancing the Use of Innovative Research Technologies in Massachusetts Criminal Justice Agencies
The Massachusetts Sentencing Commission received funding to provide training opportunities to criminal justice agency researchers in four priority areas: statistical analysis software, specialized research applications for spreadsheet software, data exchange technologies, and GIS/mapping. This project will enhance the skills of criminal justice agency researchers in applying innovative research technologies which will contribute to the development of effective policymaking.
Achieving Consistent Statewide Response to Prisoner Sexual Violence
The Massachusetts Department of Correction was provided funding to plan, develop, and implement a series of comprehensive trainings on prison sexual violence to members of the criminal justice and correctional community. The DOC will create a template of Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) requirements to help agencies better respond to the problem of prisoner sexual violence. An awareness campaign will focus on inmates, their families, and the public to identify available resources and provide education as to the impact of under-reporting of prison sexual violence.
Development of a Massachusetts Reentry Plan
The Kennedy School of Government received funding to develop a Massachusetts prisoner reentry plan. Drawing from recommendations in several recent reports on reentry in Massachusetts, the project will focus on implementation challenges related to capacity, relationships, and legal restrictions.
Comparing Intensive Enforcement and Problem-Oriented Policing in Crime Hot Spots in Lowell
The Kennedy School of Government was awarded funding to compare policing strategies on crime, disorder, and citizen perception of legitimacy in crime hot spots in Lowell, MA. This project will help the Lowell Police Department to enhance their technological capacity to identify hot spots, develop strategies to prevent crime in hot spots, and measure whether the implemented strategies were effective in reducing crime.
Traffic Stop Data Collection Assistance
The Institute on Race and Justice at Northeastern University received funding to coordinate a research and technical support program for the racial profiling data collection project. Main strategies of the project include analyzing models to ensure data quality, providing technical assistance to groups developing the new traffic stop system, and identifying and working with agencies that are developing "best practices" in traffic stop data collection.
Developing Strategic Research Capacity in the Trial Court
The Massachusetts Trial Court was provided funding to improve research collaboration across several agencies. This project will focus on developing a shared infrastructure and analytic framework across three agencies in the Trial Court and will help build research capacity within the these agencies.