Evolution of the researcher–practitioner partner model and the role of academic research partners in Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation (BCJI) Grants

Rebecca K. Murray, Dawn M. Irlbeck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The idea of research–practitioner partnerships has existed in a number of areas, but has flourished in criminal justice particularly, in part due to the push for such partnerships by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) over the past 20 years. Beginning in the early 2000s with Project Safe Neighborhood (PSN) and most recently enhanced through BJA’s Innovation Suite of programs, the federal government has done a great deal to support these types of partnerships in the recent past. The current research explores the research–practitioner partner model in one such program, the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation (BCJI) Initiative, now called the Innovations in Community-Based Crime Reduction (ICBCR). BCJI was unique in that the role of academic partner became substantial and mandatory for the planning, implementation and evaluation phase for all participants. This research explores the unique aspects of this partnership through the lens of BCJI, using interviews and site visits with a number of BCJI research and community partners. While not prescriptive, results suggest some surprising details regarding what seems to ‘work best’ within this unique partnership context and includes some suggestions about why this type of partnership has struggled against traditional perspectives of how law enforcement, academic institutions and community partners work together.


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Law

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