offices (NIJ, 1997). By FY 1998, these transfers amounted to $85 million. Therefore, NIJ's total FY 1998 budget was approximately $135 million, about half of which was spent on evaluation of crime prevention programs.
The NIJ is organized into three major offices. The Office of Research and Evaluation supports grants in the social sciences relating to the causes and prevention of crime. The Office of Science and Technology supports investigator-initiated grants for the development, testing, and evaluation of technologies to deter crime and enhance criminal justice operations. It also funds six regional National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Centers that provide technical assistance on research and development to help state and local criminal justice agencies. The Office of Development and Dissemination transmits information through publications and conferences geared to practitioners (i.e., judges, prosecutors, police, corrections officials, and victims' advocates).
NIJ supports research in the following areas: criminal behavior, crime control and prevention, and the criminal justice system. The preponderance of NIJ's budget is awarded for extramural projects conducted by academic researchers and researchers at private nonprofit institutions. Grants average about $250,000 per year over a two-year period. All extramural funds are awarded through a competitive selection process carried out by independent peer-review panels in a process similar to that conducted by NIH. The major differences are that NIJ study sections are not standing study sections, and they require that at least one reviewer be a practitioner (i.e., a judge, prosecutor, policeman, correction official, or victim advocate). Investigator-initiated projects are awarded as a result of an open solicitation process, but this avenue represents a minor component of NIJ's extramural grant program (U.S. DOJ, 1997a). The majority of NIJ's research funds, including transfers from other offices, is awarded after a directed solicitation for research proposals targeted to specific topics, many of which are prescribed by the Crime Act of 1994.
One of the few programs of investigator-initiated grants relates to violence against women. The research program began in FY 1998 through the receipt of $7 million in earmarked appropriations to NIJ. It is being undertaken in collaboration with CDC's NCIPC over a five-year period (NIJ, 1998). The purpose of the joint program is to implement the research agenda propounded by the NRC in its 1996 report Understanding Violence Against Women (NRC, 1996). The development of this research agenda was mandated by the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (Title IV of the Crime Act). The report recommends research on prevention (including longitudinal research), improving research methods, developing the research infrastructure, and the acquisition of new knowledge on all facets of the problem, especially as it affects women of color, disabled women, lesbians, immigrant women, and institutionalized women