Norval Morris Program on Corrections Innovation

In 1977, Funding was created in the Federal Bureau of Prisons budget for the creation of a new government agency called the National Institute of Corrections. The National Institute of Corrections (NIC) is a center of learning, innovation, and leadership that shapes and advances effective correctional practice and public policy in the United States.

This year, NIC launches the Norval Morris Program on Corrections Innovation – a new initiative to identify, support, and celebrate important innovations in corrections practice and policy. This program is available to all corrections agencies in the United States and its territories


About Norval Morris

In an academic career that lasted 55 years, the last 40 of them at the University of Chicago, Dr. Morris became an internationally known expert on criminal justice systems. He published 15 books and hundreds of articles, and was a founding director of the law school's Center for Studies in Criminal Justice. Morris was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, a Fellow of the American Society of Criminology, a board member of the Chicago Bar Foundation, as well as a chairman of the board and board member of the National Institute of Corrections.


What is it?

Through the Norval Morris Program on Corrections Innovation (NMPCI), NIC solicits nominations of important innovations in correctional practices or policies from state, federal, and local corrections agencies.

NIC will accept nominations through April 30, 2018. A panel of NIC staff members will review all the nominated innovations to determine which have demonstrated the greatest measurable impact on correctional effectiveness and efficiency and show significant potential to advance evidence-based practices in corrections.

The best programs each year will be recognized on the NIC website with a NIC Director’s Award for Corrections Innovation.



Innovation is the “jet fuel” of any industry. Supporting innovation spurs experimentation. When coupled with rigorous evaluation, innovation can be a pivotal step in increasing the body of research evidence, providing knowledge of “what works.” Most important, innovations that are tested and proven effective can lead to process improvements, greater efficiency and increased program effectiveness.

In a decentralized field like corrections, practitioners and policy makers in one jurisdiction may never learn of important innovations that solved a local problem somewhere else or increased effectiveness in another jurisdiction. By identifying, assessing and celebrating important innovations in corrections, NIC can help build and sustain a national process of discovery, innovation, and improvement that touches corrections agencies across the country. The NMPCI also helps identify important innovations that may be ready for rigorous evaluation to help build a more evidence-based foundation for corrections nationwide.


How can my corrections agency participate?

Any state, local or federal corrections agency (e.g., a department of corrections, correctional institution, parole, probation, or pretrial agency, or other agency or organization charged with specific responsibilities in the field of corrections) may be nominated for consideration to the NIC NMPCI. The on-line nomination process is short and simple and can be found here.

Nominations of innovative agency programs, teams, and collaborative efforts in the field of corrections are encouraged. Though nominations may be submitted by any group or individual, only public correctional agencies or not-for-profit agencies working in partnership with public correctional agencies will be eligible for recognition by NIC.


What are the important dates?

Nominations may be submitted on-line to NIC using this link beginning today. The nomination process will close at midnight, April 30, 2018.