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Behavioral and Social Sciences

The Growth of Incarceration in the United States: Exploring Causes and Consequences

After decades of stability from the 1920s to the early 1970s, the rate of imprisonment in the United States has increased fivefold during the last four decades. The U.S. penal population of 2.2 million adults is by far the largest ...

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Estimating the Incidence of Rape and Sexual Assault

The Bureau of Justice Statistics' (BJS) National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) measures the rates at which Americans are victims of crimes, including rape and sexual assault, but there is concern that rape and sexual assault are undercounted on this ...

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Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States

Every day in the United States, children and adolescents are victims of commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking. Despite the serious and long-term consequences for victims as well as their families, communities, and society, efforts to prevent, identify, and respond ...

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Priorities for Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence

In 2010, more than 105,000 people were injured or killed in the United States as the result of a firearm-related incident. Recent, highly publicized, tragic mass shootings in Newtown, CT; Aurora, CO; Oak Creek, WI; and Tucson, AZ, have sharpened ...

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Health and Incarceration: A Workshop Summary

Over the past four decades, the rate of incarceration in the United States has skyrocketed to unprecedented heights, both historically and in comparison to that of other developed nations. At far higher rates than the general population, those in or ...

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Reforming Juvenile Justice: A Developmental Approach

Adolescence is a distinct, yet transient, period of development between childhood and adulthood characterized by increased experimentation and risk-taking, a tendency to discount long-term consequences, and heightened sensitivity to peers and other social influences. A key function of adolescence is ...

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Deterrence and the Death Penalty

Many studies during the past few decades have sought to determine whether the death penalty has any deterrent effect on homicide rates. Researchers have reached widely varying, even contradictory, conclusions. Some studies have concluded that the threat of capital punishment ...

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Budgeting for Immigration Enforcement: A Path to Better Performance

Immigration enforcement is carried out by a complex legal and administrative system, operating under frequently changing legislative mandates and policy guidance, with authority and funding spread across several agencies in two executive departments and the courts. The U.S. Department of ...

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Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence:Third Edition

The Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence, Third Edition, assists judges in managing cases involving complex scientific and technical evidence by describing the basic tenets of key scientific fields from which legal evidence is typically derived and by providing examples of ...

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Strengthening the National Institute of Justice

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is the nation's primary resource for advancing scientific research, development, and evaluation on crime and crime control and the administration of justice in the United States. Headed by a presidentially appointed director, it is ...

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