Through a collaborative approach between academia and practitioners, the University of Cincinnati Institute of Crime Science (ICS) addresses current issues facing the criminal justice system with an emphasis on the use of empirical research to guide problem-solving strategies.
The University of Cincinnati Institute of Crime Science (ICS) serves as a think tank bridging research and practice that fosters the use of best practices across the criminal justice system through the application of research and knowledge to issues of crime control, administration, and public safety. The overarching goal of the ICS is to integrate the knowledge and skills of academia and practitioners to tackle real-world issues.
The ICS team is comprised of well-known experts in criminal justice research, with specializations ranging from policing to crime prevention to policy evaluation. Members include attorneys, police officials, university professors, and advanced doctoral students with expertise in a full range of research and analytic techniques. The team is experienced in a variety of topics such as racial profiling, crime analysis, social network analysis, first-line supervision, and civil liability, and is equipped to deliver training programs to national, regional, state, and local audiences.
Recognizing the need for an organizing institution, the School of Criminal Justice at the University of Cincinnati established the Center for Criminal Justice Research in 1996. This Center facilitates research on the administration of justice and the nature of criminal behavior. Yet, given the lines of inquiry becoming established, it became clear that the School required more specialized institutions. Accordingly, the University of Cincinnati Corrections Institute and the University of Cincinnati Policing Institute were both created to more aptly respond to existing research demands, and capitalize upon faculty expertise.
Founded in 2006, the University of Cincinnati Policing Institute (UCPI) originated with the goal of marrying law enforcement research and practice. It was anticipated that the superior research experience of the principal investigators associated with the UCPI could be successfully merged with the field application of policing practitioners. This ideal proved successful, with the Institute producing a number of projects with impactful results. Based upon the studies conducted by UCPI researchers, corroborating law enforcement agencies have altered their training and procedures in ways that have had enormous influence on criminal justice functioning at large.
After a number of evaluations on various violence reduction interventions, UCPI researchers acknowledged the need for a broadened institutional scope. Specifically, analyses revealed that for a more holistic approach to crime reduction, an incorporation of criminological theory with policing research was necessary. Accordingly, the University of Cincinnati Institute of Crime Science (ICS) was established in late 2011 to meet these growing research needs. A new advisory board was generated, and additional researchers were incorporated into the Institute. The ICS aims to bridge research and practice, emphasizing the employment of the empirical study of crime to guide problem-solving criminal justice strategies.
As the mission of ICS is to build relationships that link research and practice, we sponsor and encourage best practices in addressing issues across the criminal justice system. The best way for researchers to produce research and interventions that are practical and can truly influence criminal justice practices is to collaborate with the agencies and policy makers that you hope will benefit from your research. This is what sets ICS apart from many other research institutes—we build long lasting, truly collaborative relationships with criminal justice practitioners to maximize the benefits to the criminal justice system. It is our goal to produce research, provide technical assistance/trainings, and develop interventions that have a real impact on our field.
ICS is at the cutting-edge in best practices for tackling problems across the criminal justice system. A partnership with ICS provides agencies with a link to research that can have a real impact on their agency and issues that their agency is facing. We recognize the importance of contributions from practitioners when conducting research and developing interventions. Working with ICS creates a genuine partnership, as both sides of the field (including both researchers and practitioners) contribute knowledge and experience that are then used to accomplish the goals of an agency. We are equipped to provide trainings, consultations, technical assistance, and program evaluations