NIJ is the abbreviation for National Institute of Justice. It is the research and development branch of the Department of Justice and is headed by a political appointee of the President. The National Institute of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice was established in 1968, under the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968. NIJ is focused on advancing technology for criminal justice application including law enforcement and corrections, forensics, and judicial processes, as well as criminology, criminal justice, and related social science research. Much of this research is facilitated by providing grants to academic institutions, non-profit research organizations, and other entities, as well as collaborating with state and local governments.