Ongoing Comprehensive School Safety Initiative Research

In 2014, NIJ funded Comprehensive School Safety Initiative projects to:

Test Innovative and Promising Programs and Practices in Schools

In 2014, NIJ released two Comprehensive School Safety solicitations. Under the first (“Investigator-Initiated Research: The Comprehensive School Safety Initiative”), NIJ awarded $18 million through nine awards. Under the second (“Developing Knowledge about What Works to Make Schools Safe”), NIJ awarded $45 million through 15 awards. These 24 projects address a wide range of school safety topics, including:

  • School resource officer training and effectiveness.
  • Mental health and trauma-informed response.
  • Exclusionary discipline.
  • Restorative justice.
  • Threat assessment using social media.
  • Positive behavioral interventions and supports.
  • Bullying prevention.
  • Wrap-around services/comprehensive approaches.
  • Protecting students as they walk to and from school.

Read descriptions of each funded project (pdf, 25 pages).

Read the 2014 solicitations:

Enhance Data Collection

Understanding the safety issues that schools face begins with collecting better data. In 2014, NIJ provided $3.5 million to four federal partners to improve surveys and incident-level data on school safety at the national level:

  • The School Survey on Crime and Safety
    The School Survey on Crime and Safety (SSOCS) is the nation’s primary source of school-level data on crime and safety. Under a $1,700,000 interagency agreement with NIJ, the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is collecting an extra year of SSOCS data to gather in-depth information regarding specific aspects of school safety, particularly about the roles and responsibilities of mental health professionals and law enforcement officers who work in a nationally representative sample of 3,500 public primary, middle, high, and combined schools.
  • Survey of Law Enforcement Personnel in Schools
    Under a $1,000,000 interagency agreement with NIJ, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics is conducting a new Survey of Law Enforcement Personnel in Schools to improve information about the roles, responsibilities, and actions of local law enforcement in K-12 public schools.
  • Averted School Attacks Data Collection Platform
    There is no national repository of information about averted or completed school attacks. Under a $500,000 interagency agreement with NIJ, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services is developing an Averted School Attacks Data Collection Platform to improve the quality and quantity of data regarding averted and completed school attacks. This system will allow schools and law enforcement agencies to input data, including data that may be useful to researchers and others seeking to identify effective practices and lessons-learned.
  • School-Associated Violent Deaths Surveillance System
    The School-Associated Violent Deaths Surveillance System is the most comprehensive national-level database regarding school-associated violent deaths. Under a $250,000 interagency agreement with NIJ, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control is improving SAVD to more efficiently capture timely data about homicides, suicides, and legal-intervention deaths that occur at or on the way to elementary and secondary schools or at school-sponsored events.
  • National Electronic Injury Surveillance System All Injury Program
    Under a $100,000 interagency agreement with NIJ, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) is developing and testing a pilot project that adds a school-safety component to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System All Injury Program (NEISS-AIP). This will allow better collection of data regarding individuals who are treated in emergency departments after being injured in school violence.

Assess School Safety Technologies

In 2014, NIJ also provided $1,500,000 in funding for two comprehensive technology assessments.

Johns Hopkins University received a competitive award to conduct directed research, test and evaluation projects to inform activities of NIJ's Office of Science and Technology. This work includes a comprehensive assessment of how technology is currently used to prevent and respond to school violence.

Under a separate competitive award, the Rand Corporation will conduct focus groups with a variety of stakeholders to assess the unique technology needs of K-12 schools in urban, suburban and rural settings.

Comparing the needs identified by these focus groups with the results of the assessment conducted by JHU will assist NIJ in identifying what technology research and development is needed to improve school safety.

Date Created: April 29, 2015