BY: Michael Chernicoff
President Barack Obama’s nominee to head the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) has promsed to make its statistical body free from political manipulation. In making an independent statistical body, James Lynch may hope to reverse that likelihood that the BJS and its official are, “inappropriately treated in the future.”
In 2009, James Lynch was a member of the Panel to Review the Programs of the Bureau of Justice Statistics of the Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT), which provided recommendations to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) on ways to improve the quality, creditability, and relevance of U.S. justice statistics. In that report, the Panel recommended that “BJS be moved out of OJP (Office of Justice Programs),” and further suggested, “that the position of BJS director be made a fixed-term presidential appointment with Senate confirmation.” (A full-text copy of this report behttp://www.nap.edu/catalog/12671.html).
The Bureau of Justice Statistics was created under the Justice System Improvement Act of 1979, Public Law 96-157 (the 1979 Amendment to the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, Public Law 90-351) on December 27, 1979. According to their website, the mission of BJS purpose is to, “collect, analyze, publish, and disseminate information on crime, criminal offenders, victims of crime, and the operation of justice systmes at all levels of government.”
A hearing to confirm James Lynch’s nomination was held on January 20th, 2010.