Institutional Corrections: Dear Colleague Letter From Greg Ridgeway, Fiscal Year 2014

The “Research and Evaluation on Justice Systems” solicitation referenced in this letter has closed. View a list of awards made under that solicitation.

Thank you to everyone who submitted an application.

Date: January 13, 2014

Dear Colleague:

This letter alerts all social and behavioral science researchers about the National Institute of Justice's (NIJ) interest in receiving proposals related to institutional corrections that can strengthen our knowledge base and enhance criminal justice practices. NIJ has been building its institutional corrections research portfolio for many years and is interested in strengthening its work in this area through the pursuit of improving the administration of justice in this country.

NIJ's institutional corrections research portfolio ranges from the use of technology in prisons to ways to improve the management of correctional facilities at the state and local levels. In the past, NIJ's research on institutional corrections has focused on specific areas that have implications for the institutional environment, such as the psychological impacts of administrative segregation, sexual victimization in the correctional environment and research on the Prison Rape Elimination Act.

As offender reentry gained prominence in the research and practitioner communities, NIJ shifted its focus to examining how reentry programs are implemented and whether participating in these programs link to improved outcomes for offenders released into the community. NIJ has been successful in moving this issue to the forefront for policymakers and practitioners who deal with offender reentry on a daily basis.

NIJ is now interested in shifting its focus back to institutional corrections. As new research topics evolve, many of the topics covered in initial research remain of significant interest to NIJ and the field. In its efforts to prevent and reduce crime and violence, NIJ's Office of Research and Evaluation (ORE) strives to address the questions raised by corrections practitioners and academics and to stay abreast of the latest developments in issues related to institutional corrections, including prisons and jails. NIJ/ORE's particular interest in the institutional corrections research area for FY 2014 involves topics such as:

  • Research on correctional administration and management.
  • Research on correctional officer and inmate safety and wellness.
  • Mental health and corrections, including potential research on administrative segregation.
  • Research on the impact of corrections programming on outcomes including but not limited to criminal behavior, employment and housing.
  • Research on the use of technology in the institutional environment.

Other topics of research on institutional corrections are valuable as well, especially research that includes randomization of interventions or programs of interest. As with corrections organizations across the country, NIJ is interested in building sound, evidence-based knowledge of interventions and programs that work and that can be tested in a variety of institutions under varied circumstances.

Topics such as offender reentry, diversion programs and probation or parole are not of particular interest to NIJ under this solicitation cycle.

Search past awards for illustrative examples of current and prior projects.

Interested prospective applicants are highly encouraged to consult with relevant project officers prior to proposal submission. In the case of institutional corrections, Ms. Marilyn Moses at and Dr. Marie Garcia at are the appropriate project officers.

This is not a special competition or new program. Proposals in response to this Dear Colleague Letter must meet the requirements and deadlines of the solicitation to which they are submitted.

The appropriate vehicle for responding to topics covered in this letter will be NIJ's "Research and Evaluation on Justice Systems." To receive an e-mail when NIJ issues a solicitation, subscribe to You also can follow us on Twitter Exit Notice
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The "Research and Evaluation on Justice Systems" solicitation should be available on the NIJ website in February 2014.



Greg Ridgeway, Ph.D.
Acting Director
National Institute of Justice

Date Created: January 13, 2014