Best Practices in Communications Study

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Who is conducting this study?
The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), a program office in the U.S. Department of Justice, is conducting this study. BJA was created in 1984 to reduce violent crime, create safer communities, and reform our Nation’s criminal justice system. Its mission is to provide leadership and services in grant administration and criminal justice policy development to support state, local, and tribal justice strategies to achieve safer communities. BJA works with communities, governments, and nonprofit organizations to reduce crime, recidivism, and unnecessary confinement, and promote a safe and fair criminal justice system.
Who is eligible for the study?
Current or retired individuals such as public-school officials, school board members, law enforcement personnel, council members, or rural decision-makers.
How will the study be conducted?
We will interview and then listen to what trusted leaders like you have to say about how best to communicate in your communities, so we thought a small, virtual focus group would be the most effective way to achieve this goal.
What is a focus group?
Focus groups are facilitated discussions aimed at collecting information about a group of people’s experiences. Participants share what they know and answer questions about certain topics. The goal is to learn about any opportunities and challenges associated with a topic as perceived by the focus group participants.
When and where will the focus group be conducted?
It will be held virtually in the January of 2023.
How long is the virtual focus group?
Approximately 60 minutes.
Will I be paid for participating?
As a token of our appreciation, we will send you a $75 virtual gift card for your participation. Alternatively, you can donate the amount to an organization of your choosing or decline it if required by your institution.
What will I need to do?
If you would like to participate, we are asking participants to reach out to us by emailing the study lead researcher, Kathy Lizzama or calling (240) 403-1650. If you are unable to attend the focus group, you may send a representative on your behalf.
Where will the focus group take place?
Because this study is being conducted nationwide, the focus group will happen virtually through an online meeting platform such as Zoom. Once you confirm your availability to participate, we will share the virtual meeting details with you.  
How will my information be used?
The information you share with us will be combined with the responses of others in a summary report that does not identify you as an individual, organization, or school. Your answers may be used only for statistical purposes and may not be disclosed, or used, in identifiable form for any other purpose except as required by law. All personal identifying information will be destroyed at the conclusion of the study. Note that all of the information you provide may be used only for statistical purposes and may not be disclosed, or used, in identifiable form for any other purpose except as required by law (20 U.S.C. §9573 and 6 U.S.C. §151). For more information, please see our privacy policy.
Is participation mandatory?
Your participation is completely voluntary. You can choose to not participate. You also have the right to stop participating at any time.
Who can I contact for more information on the study?
If you would like to discuss the study further, please contact the study lead researcher, Kathy Lizzama at or (240) 403-1650.