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The Norval Morris Project At the National Institute of Corrections

Norval Morris was "instrumental in founding the National Institute of Corrections [NIC] in the early 1970s and served as a charter member of the NIC Advisory Board until he passed away. Shortly thereafter, the NIC Advisory Board created the Norval Morris Project as an open-ended commitment to honor his contributions to the field and carry on the spirit of his work. The project sought to promote Morris’ legacy by following his model of using collaboration, interdisciplinary insights, and research to bring about innovative change in correctional policy and practice. As it developed over its first few years, the project came to focus on how a Morris Project could be developed and implemented to locate innovative evidence-based approaches from any discipline, evaluate their potential to inform correctional policy and practice, create opportunities to test these innovations in correctional settings, and develop strategies to encourage the dissemination and application of this knowledge in corrections (p. 2-3). This report describes the first ten years of NIC's Norval Morris Project. Sections of this publication cover: first steps; the implementation phase-Virginia Implementation Project, Healing Environment Initiatives, and the Urban Institute evaluation of the Virginia Initiative; and next steps. "At the time of this writing, [the] work is ongoing, but preliminary results show the project has had a positive effect on the department. The most important legacy of the Morris Project, however, may be the demonstration of how a “Morris Project” can be developed and executed in a way that preserves the spirit of Norval Morris’ life and work" (p. 1).