Rutgers School of Criminal Justice

Evidence-Based Institute for Research on Justice Practice and Policy

“Improving justice policy and practice through analysis, evaluation, and scholarship”

Director: Paul Boxer, PhD
Senior Fellow in Criminal Justice and Associate Professor of Psychology

Assistant Director: Michael Ostermann, PhD
Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice

The mission of the Rutgers University Evidence-Based Institute for Research on Justice Practice and Policy (EBI) is to develop and strengthen the evidentiary foundation of juvenile and criminal justice policies and practices. EBI scholars work with policy makers and practitioners across multiple sectors to increase the use, understanding, and interpretation of research evidence for the advancement of more equitable and effective juvenile and criminal justice systems. The EBI maintains a strong foundation of translational, engaged scholarship to ensure that research informs practice and policy just as effectively as practice and policy inform research. The EBI also serves as the convener for the Greater Newark Youth Violence Consortium, a multi-disciplinary, multi-agency collaborative of government entities, nonprofit service agencies, and university researchers dedicated to reducing and preventing youth violence and delinquency in the greater Newark metropolitan region.

The EBI targets its mission through the following objectives linked to scholarship, training, and service:

EBI faculty produce high-quality scholarship driven by translational research conducted in the context of studying and promoting evidence-based practices.

EBI faculty provide training to policymakers, practitioners, and other community agents on issues related to evidence-based practices in the juvenile and criminal justice systems.

EBI faculty work directly with policymakers and practitioners in the community on projects related to the promotion and evaluation of evidence-practices and provide these services pro bono when possible, or in the context of regular or routine scholarly and/or teaching activities. Faculty also will work to disseminate findings relevant to the EBI mission to the broader policy and practice community through white papers available on the EBI website, interviews as appropriate with media contacts, and consultation when requested with local, county, state, and national policymakers and other officials.

EBI faculty provide opportunities to graduate and undergraduate students in Criminal Justice and other related training programs to learn methodological strategies and analytic techniques for conducting translational, policy- and practice-oriented scholarship. Faculty work closely with students to ensure involvement in scholarly dissemination and academic development.

Faculty-led research in the EBI is currently organized around two broad programmatic areas:

Juvenile justice:

EBI Director Paul Boxer is leading several initiatives examining best-practice approaches to serving high-risk youth, including gang-involved you, who have become involved in the justice system. Boxer also leads the Greater Newark Youth Violence Consortium, a collective of governmental and private nonprofit youth-serving agencies in urban Essex County tasked with developing and implementing new and innovative approaches to youth violence and delinquency prevention.

Corrections and re-entry:

EBI Assistant Director Michael Ostermann is conducting several projects examining best-practices for managing offenders exiting the correctional system through various forms of community supervision. He also is engaged in applied work examining the validity and predictive utility of risk assessment instruments used throughout the correctional system.

Other faculty scholars affiliated with the EBI are involved in applied research projects addressing: relations between crime and economic development (Robert Apel); geospatial aspects of crime risk relevant to policing and public safety (Leslie Kennedy & Joel Caplan); trauma and mental health among offenders (Bonita Veysey); school safety and school violence (Mercer Sullivan); communitywide strategies for reducing crime and promoting safety (Joel Miller); and applications of social justice to legal policy (Jody Miller).