DOJ Awards $3.3M for Research to Reduce Firearms Violence

The Justice Department’s National Institute of Justice (NIJ) today announced awards to five institutions to study the characteristics of firearms violence, its causes and effects, and interventions and strategies to reduce it.

The results of this research are expected to strengthen our knowledge base and improve public safety by producing findings with practical implications for reducing intentional, interpersonal firearms violence.

Following are the funded projects:

Grantee:  Northwestern University
Amount: $425,000

Title: Firearm Involvement in Delinquent Youth and Collateral Consequences in Young Adulthood: A Prospective Longitudinal Study

Northwestern University researchers will expand upon an existing longitudinal study in Cook County, Illinois – the Northwestern Juvenile Project (NJP) –examining how adolescent exposure to firearms may predict future gun violence and victimization through young adulthood.

The study will leverage the existing data collected on youth arrested and detained between 1995 and 1998 who were re-interviewed up to 13 times for 16 years following their detention.

The grantee will add new variables – including geocoded community-level data, mortality data, and incarceration data – to the existing dataset to identify risk and protective factors that predict the perpetration and victimization of firearm violence up to a median age of 32 years.

Grantee: Fund for the City of New York/ Center for Court Innovation
Amount: $585,000

Title: The Gun Epidemic Reconsidered: Creating a Foundation to Reduce Firearm Violence among Urban Youth

The Fund for the City of New York/Center for Court Innovation will conduct a study to examine the causes of youth gun involvement among high risk youth.

Based on information drawn from a sample of high-risk youth living in five distinct New York City neighborhoods that historically experience high rates of gun violence, the study will examine how youth acquire, possess and use firearms in an effort to reach an in-depth understanding of the motivations for gun carrying and use in this population, including the influence of social context, networks and norms.

Grantee:  Trustees of Boston University
Amount: $610,000

Title:  The Impact of State-Level Firearms Laws on Homicide Rates by Race/Ethnicity

Researchers at Boston University will conduct a study to determine how various state-level firearms laws affect white, black and Hispanic populations.

The study will examine data over a 25-year period, 1991-2015, to compare the effectiveness of firearm-related laws in urban and non-urban locations for stranger and non-stranger homicides.

The findings will inform effective strategies to lower homicide rates and reduce disparities in firearm homicide violence among various racial and ethnic communities.

Grantee: President and Fellows of Harvard College
Amount: $654,910

Title: Using Public Health Datasets to Analyze Legal Intervention Shootings

Researchers at Harvard College will carry out a policy- and practice-relevant study about where and how often police shootings occur, how often they prove lethal, and for those that are lethal, how the characteristics of the incident fall into distinct categories of legal intervention homicide.

Grantee: University of CaliforniaDavis
Award: $1,048,000 (supplement to 2014 award)

Title: Prospective Evaluation of California’s Armed and Prohibited Persons System

University of California-Davis researchers will follow up on their previous NIJ-funded randomized trial of California’s Armed and Prohibited Persons System (APPS) to examine the system’s outcomes and perform a cost-benefit analysis.

This project will improve our understanding of the effects of law enforcement intervention to recover firearms from individuals who legally purchased them but subsequently became prohibited persons following convictions for serious crimes, hospitalizations for psychiatric emergencies, or other events suggesting a high risk for future violence to others or themselves.

More information on NIJ’s programs is located here:

OJP logoThe Office of Justice Programs (OJP), headed by Assistant Attorney General Karol V. Mason, provides federal leadership in developing the nation’s capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice and assist victims.

OJP has six components: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; the Office for Victims of Crime and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking.