NIJ is the research, development, and evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice and is dedicated to researching crime control and justice issues. NIJ provides objective, independent, evidence-based knowledge and tools to meet the challenges of crime and justice, particularly at the State and local levels. NIJ's principal authorities are derived from the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, as amended (see 42 USC § 3721-3723) and Title II of the Homeland Security Act of 2002.
The NIJ Director is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. The NIJ Director establishes the Institute's objectives, guided by the priorities of the Office of Justice Programs, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the needs of the field. The Institute actively solicits the views of criminal justice and other professionals and researchers to inform its search for the knowledge and tools to guide policy and practice.
The Forensic Science Initiative is the research and resource effort at West Virginia University. The FSI provides research and resources to the nation's forensic science laboratories. The FSI at WVU currently has 15 faculty performing research in the forensic sciences and over 25 active projects. It is arguably the largest and broadest research effort to date in the forensic sciences.