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Who is NIJ? (National Institute of Justice)

The National Institute of Justice is a US institute working below the US Department of Justice. NIJ aims to increase and understand crime through a scientific eye, where you look objectively and scientifically at everything, with the aim of reducing the crime and safety of people working in different industries. 

The NIJ institute has existed since 1968, and has since been one of the leading institutes when it comes to researching in developing and improving current technologies. 

NIJ more or less sets the standards of what different technologies needs to be able to handle to provide the right protection. It is not only within bulletproof vests, there is standards, but also in the field of policing, institutional corrections, Sentinel events, security technologies, wellness and safety, forensic sciences and school safety.

It is NIJ's main areas, and note that it is an American and not a European standard, which also means that they focus on American issues. In their NIJ standard there is much focus on the .44 Magnum, which is one of the most powerful and handguns in the United States where 9 mm and similar small arm calibers are used in Europe. 

In addition to having developed NIJ standard 0101.04 and NIJ standard 0101.06 for bullet proof vests, where the latter is the latest standard, a standard for "Measurement of body armor wearers" has also been developed, i.e. how to measure to the right bullet proof vest. This standard is made in collaboration with ASTM. 

Essentially, you can say that products that comply with the NIJ standards are of high quality and will give you the best possible protection. This also makes great demands on the way in which research takes place, where they have developed their own processes that must be followed carefully. 

NIJ has developed a research and development process to ensure that all researches provides valid and actionable projects that can be used directly by companies and institutions. 

1. Identifying Needs 

NIJ identifies the problems of holding meetings, workshops and in close contact with the police, prison staff and the like, so they understand the issues faced by the individual departments. 

2. Developing a Research Agenda 

NIJ has a research agenda that needs to be followed. For example, in the field of law, they have a lot of focus on DNA evidence. For bullet proof vests they have a lot of focus on durability, so the body armor doesn’t age or loose the durability within the warranty period. 

3. Implementing Research

The Projects are both evaluated internally by NIJ's own staff and externally through field testing and other organizations. 

4. Post-Award Activities

In order to maintain quality and ensure continued success, NIJ assigns to their external research partners a NIJ supervisor who can guide and coordinate the research process. 

5. Evaluating Research Results 

All results will be published in the "National Archive of Criminal Justice Data" so that it is possible to view and test all data, and if necessary draw their own conclusions.

You can read more about NIJ's head activities and the different NIJ standards here.