How to do Research on Criminal Justice

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Criminal Justice Research Guide 1How to do research on criminal justice? Criminal justice is a broad term that refers to such subjects as crimes and criminals, law and policy, prisons, and violence. Meanwhile, the administration of justice includes criminal law, constitutional law, individual rights, and procedures and evidence, with laws administered on federal, state, and local levels through legislation, regulations, and court decisions. Using such keyword terms will help you find timely and relevant information for your research paper. Whatever the subject or topic that you plan to investigate, researching this field is cross-disciplinary, including, for example, law and social sciences; therefore, you may need to extend your research beyond primary sources in your core subject in order to fully research your topic.

Most library reference sections feature a variety of reference materials on criminal justice that will provide general and more specific information and research on your subject, including books, journals, magazines, newspapers, government documents, and Web resources. If your research paper topic is very specific, you may want to consult more specific subject guides at your library that more closely examine your topical area. Additional resources not listed or described in this article can also be found by searching your library’s online catalog. The following are the most popular sources on criminal justice available through public and academic libraries.



Selected Subject Headings

Listed below is a sample of a few broad Library of Congress subject headings—made up of one word or more representing concepts under which all library holdings are divided and subdivided by subject—which you can search under and use as subject terms when searching online library catalogs for preliminary and/or additional research, such as books, audio and video recordings, and other references, related to your research paper topic. When researching materials on your topic, subject heading searching may be more productive than searching using simple keywords. However, keyword searching when using the right search method (Boolean, etc.) and combination of words can be equally effective in finding materials more closely relevant to your topic.

Suggested Criminal Justice Research Topics

  • Corrections
  • Crime
  • Criminal Justice
  • Criminals
  • Criminology
  • Drug Traffic
  • Forensic Medicine
  • Gangs
  • Juvenile Delinquency
  • Law Enforcement
  • Police
  • Prisons
  • Recidivism
  • Sociology
  • Victims of Crime

Selected Keyword Search Strategies and Guides

Most online library indexes and abstracts and full-text article databases offer basic and advanced “keyword” searching of virtually every subject. In this case, combine keyword terms that best define your thesis question or topic using the Boolean search method (employing “and” or “or”) to find research most suitable to your topic.

If your topic is “women and victims of crime,” for example, enter “women” and “victims of crime” with “and” on the same line to locate sources directly compatible with the primary focus of your paper. To find research on more specific aspects of your topic, alternate one new keyword at a time with the primary keyword of your topic with “and” in between them (for example, “women and domestic violence,” “women and rape,” “women and sexual assault,” “women and stalking,” “women and victim legislation,” etc.).

For additional help with keyword searching, navigation, or user guides for online indexes and databases by many leading providers—including Cambridge Scientific Abstracts, EBSCO, H.W. Wilson, OCLC, Ovid Technologies, ProQuest, and Thomson Gale—are posted with direct links on library Web sites to guides providing specific instruction to using whichever database you want to search. They provide additional guidance on how to customize and maximize your search, including advanced searching techniques and grouping of words and phrases using the Boolean search method—of your topic, of bibliographic records, and of full-text articles, and other documents related to your subject. Many libraries, under the “Help” sections of their Web sites, post their own tutorials on subject and keyword searching, which you can also consult. For further assistance in this area, check with your librarian.

Selected Source and Subject Guides

Criminal Justice Research Guide 2As part of your preliminary research to find appropriate resources for your topic, information source and research guides are available at most public and academic libraries and are keyword searchable through your library’s online catalog (to search and locate guides, enter your “subject” followed by these keywords one search at a time: “information sources,” “reference sources,” and “research guide”). Printed guides available for this subject area include

Criminal Justice Information: How to Find It, How to Use It, by Dennis C. Benamati et al., 248 pages (Phoenix, Ariz.: Oryx Press, 1998)

Criminal Justice Research in Libraries and on the Internet, by Bonnie R. Nelson, 276 pages (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1997)

Criminal Justice Research Sources, 4th ed., edited by Quint C. Thurman, Lee E. Parker, and Robert L. O’Block, with Rebecca Zeleny, 171 pages (Cincinnati, Ohio: Anderson Publishing Co., 2000)

Directory of Criminal Justice Information Sources, 9th ed. (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice, 1994)

In addition to these sources of research, most college and university libraries offer online subject guides arranged by subject on the library’s Web page; others also list searchable course-related “LibGuides” by subject. Each guide lists more recommended published and Web sources—including books and references, journal, newspaper and magazine indexes, full-text article databases, Web sites, and even research tutorials—that you can access to expand your research on more specific issues and relevant to your subject.

Selected Books and References


Crime and Punishment in America: A Historical Bibliography, 346 pages (Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO, 1984)

Criminal Justice in America, 1959–1984: An Annotated Bibliography, by John D. Hewitt, 348 pages (New York: Garland Publishing, 1985)

Both of the above titles feature bibliographies of sources of information on criminal justice topics.


The Encyclopedia of American Crime, 2nd ed., by Carl Sifakis, 2 vols., 1,204 pages (New York: Facts On File, 2001)

This revised and updated illustrated reference features 2,000 A-to-Z entries detailing crimes, criminals, and law enforcement figures from the Salem, Massachusetts, witchcraft trials to more recent court cases and crimes such as the O. J. Simpson trial, the Jean Harris trial, the Oklahoma City bombing, and more. Entries include biographies, terms and definitions, and summaries of criminal activities, ranging from a paragraph to more than a page in length.

Encyclopedia of Crime and Justice, 2nd ed., edited by Joshua Dressler, 4 vols., 1,780 pages (New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2001)

This revised second edition of the 1982 original is an authoritative, interdisciplinary source of information covering the legal, sociological, psychological, historical, and economic aspects of crime and justice worldwide. Highly recommended for college and university libraries, law schools, and students studying criminology, each entry in this worthwhile reference covers a myriad of relevant topics, including such civil and criminal issues as rape, domestic violence, and terrorism. Entries discussing legal cases also include a bibliography of sources for further study. Among the appendixes is a glossary of terms.

Encyclopedia of Crime and Punishment, edited by David Levinson, 4 vols., 2,104 pages (Thousand Oaks, Calif.: SAGE Publications, 2002)

This unique, hefty four-volume set features 430 signed entries, based on numerous sources, about a wide range of topics of interest to students and teachers alike. Volume 1 covers “Careers in Criminal Justice”; volume 2, “Web Resources”; volume 3, “Professional and Scholarly Organizations”; and volume 4, “Selected Bibliography,” as well as a chronology of events in criminal justice from 1795 to the present.

The Encyclopedia of Serial Killers, 2nd ed., by Michael Newton, 515 pages (New York: Facts On File, 2006)

Including case histories, individual essays, and exhaustive overviews, this revised second edition examines the world of serial killers. Entries provide in-depth coverage of related topics, including contributing factors to the development of serial killers, law enforcement techniques, pivotal court cases, major criminal activities, popular myths depicted in film and television, key law enforcement figures, current practices of punishment, and much more.

The Encyclopedia of World Crime: Criminal Justice, Criminology, and Law Enforcement, edited by Jay Robert Nash, 6 vols. (Wilmette, Ill.: CrimeBooks, 1989, 1990)

This illustrated six-volume reference set features 23,000 entries extensively covering “the most noted and historically significant crimes and criminals” in history. Included with the set are a biographical and subject name index and a subject index for the 341 categories of criminal activity.


The Oxford Handbook of Criminology, 4th ed., edited by Mike Maguire, Rod Morgan and Robert Reiner, 1,216 pages (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2007)

The fourth edition of this authoritative and comprehensive source, substantially revised and updated since the previous edition, expertly covers many key topics of criminology that include references for further research. Providing critical and theoretical discussion, the book, featuring articles written by many leading writers in the field, surveys a broad spectrum of criminology and criminal justice topics, from crime statistics and the criminal justice system to the media and crime. Each chapter includes not only a bibliography of sources but also links to other criminal justice sites.


Research Methods in Criminal Justice and Criminology, 8th ed., 480 pages (Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 2009)

Considered a classic in its field, the latest edition of this best-selling textbook features both standard and contemporary examples of research in criminal justice, teaching students the art of research methods with readings that include a variety of actual research studies on the subject of criminal justice and criminology.

Selected Full-Text Article Databases

Academic Search Elite (Ipswich, Mass.: EBSCO Publishing, EBSCOHost, indexing and abstracts: 1984– , full text: 1990– )

Covers a wide range of academic areas, including general academic, general reference subjects, and the social sciences, including current and previous articles published in leading scholarly journals and newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Christian Science Monitor.

CQ Researcher (Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly, Inc., 1983– )

Provided by Congressional Quarterly, this online database features comprehensive full-text reports, complete with bibliographies, devoted to current and controversial events and political or social issues. Each report presents a fair and balanced examination of all sides of the issues. Topics range from mandatory sentencing to school violence. Past articles are searchable by keywords, dates, and other criteria.

Criminology: A SAGE Full-Text Collection (Thousand Oaks, Calif.: SAGE Publications, 1982– )

Full text of 21 journals published by SAGE and its affiliated companies, encompassing 4,500 articles covering such topics as corrections, criminal justice, family and domestic violence, forensic psychology, juvenile delinquency, juvenile justice, penology, and policing. This searchable database provides indexed summaries or abstracts, plus complete text of each journal article (in PDF format), from such publications as Crime and Delinquency (1984– ), Criminal Justice (2001– ), Criminal Justice and Behavior (1982– ), Criminal Justice Policy Review (2000– ), Homicide Studies (1997– ), and many more.

Expanded Academic ASAP (Farmington Hills, Mich.: Thomson Gale InfoTrac, 1980–)

Offering balanced coverage of all academic disciplines, including the arts, humanities, social sciences, business, science, and technology, besides indexing 3,000 scholarly, trade, and general-interest journals, magazines, and newspapers with full-text coverage for 1,900 full-text titles, this database also covers a variety of criminal justice journals. They include Crime and Delinquency (1984– ), Crime and Justice (1998– ), Crime, Law and Social Change (1999– ), Criminal Justice and Behavior (1997– ), Criminal Justice Ethics (1983– ) Criminal Justice Review (1998– ), and Criminology (1984– ).

HeinOnline (Buffalo, N.Y.: William S. Hein & Co., 1808– )

Produced by William S. Hein & Co., Inc., an American legal publisher for more than 80 years, HeinOnline provides full-text access to more than 400 international law journals, both current and historical. The subscription database is very useful for researching articles and journals from the early 19th century to the present that are not covered by Legal Resource Index, LexisNexis, or Westlaw. The collection includes core U.S. law journals, international law journals, treaties and agreements, U.S. Supreme Court literature, and more.

LexisNexis Academic Universe (Dayton, Ohio: LexisNexis, 1977– )

Especially strong in the area of law, this full-text database covers news, business, medical, and legal information from more than 5,000 sources, including major newspapers, magazines, federal and state court decisions, and law reviews.

ProQuest Research Library (Ann Arbor, Mich.: ProQuest/UMI, indexing: 1971– , full text: 1986– )

Providing abstracts, indexing, and full-text articles from more than 2,500 academic journals, popular magazines, and leading business publications, the contents of this database also contain complete coverage of 635 periodicals related to the social sciences and 239 general-interest publications with articles on criminal justice and behavioral science.

PsycINFO (Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association PsycINFO, 1887– )

Indexes more than 1,300 psychology and psychological journals, books, dissertations, and technical reports in more than 25 languages, on such related disciplines as sociology, linguistics, law, physiology, and psychiatry.

UMI Dissertation Abstracts (Ann Arbor, Mich.: UMI/Oryx Press, abstracts, 1980– , full text, 1997– )

With more than 1.4 million entries, the UMI Dissertation Abstracts database indexes seemingly every doctoral dissertation produced at accredited universities in the United States since 1861, with abstracts from 1980 to the present, and full-text material since 1997 on a variety of scholarly topics.

WilsonWeb (Bronx, N.Y.: H.W. Wilson Co., 1982– )

Indexes approximately 3,800 periodicals, including many journals available in full text.

Selected Periodicals

The British Journal of Criminology (London: Stevens; Chicago, Ill.: Quadrangle Books, 1960– , bimonthly)

Considered one of the world’s premier criminology journals, The British Journal of Criminology, in print since 1960 and available online, features peer-reviewed articles for professionals concerned with crime, law, criminal justice, politics, and penology that cut across all areas of criminology. Coverage includes an extensive book review section listing articles and official publications in criminology and related fields.

Full-text articles from September 1998 to the present and abstracts from January 1996 to June 1998 only are searchable through Oxford University Press Journals online ( Abstracting and indexing of previous articles are also available through several leading library databases, including British Humanities Index, Criminal Justice Abstracts, Psychological Abstracts, PsycINFO, Social Sciences Citation Index, Sociological Abstracts, and many others.

Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice (Ottawa, Ont.: Canadian Criminal Justice Association, 1958– , quarterly)

Published quarterly since 1958 by the Canadian Criminal Justice Association, this leading scientific journal, with subscribers in more than 35 countries, discusses all aspects of criminology through in-depth articles based on research and experimentation. Designed for justice administrators, researchers, practitioners, and academics, each issue covers criminological findings and opinions. Since its debut, this journal has experienced several name changes. For the first 12 issues, it was titled Canadian Journal of Corrections. Then, from volume 13 to volume 19, it was retitled Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice and Corrections. The title changed again with volume 20, to the current title, Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Tables of contents and abstracts of past issues and articles (1997– ) can be found at the publisher’s Web site (

Corrections Today (Laurel, Md.: American Correctional Association, 1954– , seven times a year)

Originally titled the American Journal of Correction (1954–78), this professional journal, published seven times a year, covers every sector of the corrections and criminal justice fields. Some full-text articles are available through such popular library article databases and indexes as Expanded Academic ASAP (February 1993– ) and Reference Center Gold (February 1993– ).

Crime Times (Mesa, Ariz.: Wacker Foundation, 1995– , quarterly) (

Published quarterly by the Wacker Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in Mesa, Arizona, this newsletter shares the latest research and news regarding medical and scientific discoveries about “the biological aspect of crime and violence,” including causes and treatment. Articles since the first issue, published in 1995, can be accessed online free of charge by title, subject, author, issue number, and full-page listing.

Crime and Delinquency (New York: National Council on Crime and Delinquency, 1960– , quarterly)

Published quarterly (January, April, July, and October) in association with the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, this thought-provoking professional journal for policy makers, scholars, administrators, and researchers addresses specific policy or program implications in the criminal justice field. Articles feature outstanding, balanced analysis of the social, political, and economic contents of criminal justice. Discussion also focuses on the victims, criminals, courts, and sanctions, research findings, program and policy implication, new directions in the field, and reviews of current criminal justice literature. Archived issues, including previous journal articles, are available through Expanded Academic ASAP (1997–98) and Ingenta (1999– ).

Criminal Justice and Behavior (Beverly Hills, Calif.: SAGE Publications, 1974– , bimonthly)

The official publication of the American Association of Correctional Psychology, this bimonthly journal promotes scholarly discussion and evaluations, based on timely and theoretical research, of assessment, classification, intervention, prevention, and treatment programs designed to help correctional professionals. Articles are mostly aimed at advancing the knowledge and expertise of academic scholars and professionals involved in forensic psychology, with an emphasis on correctional psychology. Content also includes a wide range of insightful opinions and commentaries in response to previous published articles, and book reviews of important and related sources in the field. The journal is also available through several article databases, including Ingenta (1999– ) and Expanded Academic ASAP (December 1, 1997–December 1, 1998).

Criminal Justice Ethics (New York: John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Institute for Criminal Justice Ethics, 1982– , semiannual)

This semiannual journal emphasizes ethical issues of interest to criminal justice professionals, lawyers and judges, philosophers, and the general public. Topics cover important issues in the courts, corrections, the police, and legal philosophy. To see a sample issue or its contents, visit: Full-text articles are also available in Expanded Academic ASAP (January 1, 1992– ) and ProQuest Research Library (July 1, 1996– ).

Criminal Justice Policy Review (Indiana, Pa.: Indiana University of Pennsylvania, 1986– , quarterly)

Written by scholars and professionals, this multidisciplinary journal, published quarterly in association with Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Criminology in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, features articles, essays, research notes, interviews, and book reviews on the study of criminal justice policy based on experimental and nonexperimental approaches. Suited for criminologists, criminal justice researchers, sociologists, public administrators, scholars, practitioners, and students with an interest in criminal justice policy. A collection of issues by date from 1986 to the present can be found at the publication’s Web site (

Criminal Justice Review (Atlanta, Ga.: College of Health and Human Sciences, Georgia State University, 1976– , biannual)

Biannual scholarly journal devoted to a broad range of criminal justice matters, with attention given to all aspects of crime and the justice system, and local, state, or national concerns. This peer-reviewed journal features comprehensive articles, commentaries, essays, and research notes of interest examining a variety of justice-related topics.

Current and past articles from Criminal Justice Review are indexed and abstracted in such popular databases as Criminal Justice Abstracts, Criminal Justice Periodical Index, PsycINFO, Psychological Abstracts, PAIS International, Sociological Abstracts, and Social Sciences Index. Tables of contents of past issues are accessible only through the College of Health and Human Sciences’ Web site (

Criminal Law Bulletin (Boston: Warren Gorham & Lamont, 1965– , six times a year)

Published six times a year, this authoritative source features insightful articles, written by renowned experts, about the latest trends and developments in criminal law, including updates on all major federal, state, and Supreme Court decisions. Each issue also contains feature columns examining the latest in corrections law, ethics, forensic science, and law enforcement.

Criminology: An Interdisciplinary Journal (Columbus, Ohio: American Society of Criminology, 1970– , quarterly)

This official publication of the American Society of Criminology is published four times annually (February, May, August, and November). It is devoted to a thorough review of crime and deviant behavior associated with sociology, psychology, design, systems analysis, and decision theory as applied to crime and criminal justice. Articles focus on empirical and original research and scientific methodology, as well as theoretical and criminal investigation issues. Abstracts of Criminology: An Interdisciplinary Journal can be accessed on the society’s Web site ( from 1963 to the present, with full-text versions available through EBSCOHost and ProQuest databases.

FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin (Washington, D.C.: Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1932– , monthly)

Published monthly by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) since 1932. Each issue features a collection of criminal justice stories, reports, and project findings. Past full-text issues of the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin from 1989 to the present are accessible through the FBI’s Web site (

Federal Probation (Washington, D.C.: Administrative Office of the United States Courts, 1937– , three times a year)

Published by the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts three times a year (June, September, and December), this professional journal deals with the current thought, research, practice, and philosophy in corrections and criminal justice. Selected versions of past issues, from 1998 to 2002, are available on the Federal Judiciary’s Web site (; full-text versions through Academic Search Elite (May 1990– ), ProQuest Research Library (June 1, 2002– ), and WilsonWeb (December 1976– ).

Journal of Crime and Justice (Jonesboro, Tenn.: Pilgrimage, Inc., biannual)

Published by the Society of Police and Criminal Psychology in association with the Midwestern Criminal Justice Association, this biannual interdisciplinary journal includes editorial commentary, theoretical empirical studies, and book and media reviews for criminal justice academicians and professionals. Tables of contents of current and previous issues are accessible on the association’s Web site (; full-text articles are available through LexisNexis Academic.

The Journal of Criminal Justice and Popular Culture (Albany: SUNY Albany School of Criminal Justice, 1993– , six times a year)

Issued six times a year by the University at Albany School of Criminal Justice, The Journal of Criminal Justice and Popular Culture, an electronic journal, publishes scholarly research and opinion. Each issue features peer-reviewed original articles, essays, and book reviews examining the intersection of crime, criminal justice, and popular culture in society today. Full-text articles published since 1993 can be accessed without charge at the journal’s Web site (

The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology (Chicago: Northwestern University School of Law, 1910– , quarterly)

One of the most read and widely cited publications in the world, The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, first published in 1910 by Dean John Henry Wigmore, prints serious dialogue and debate about criminal law and criminology. Written for judges, academics, criminologists, police officers, and practitioners, topics in this quarterly journal include constitutional questions, international law, evidence, jurisdiction, white-collar crime, and securities regulation. Full-text articles are also accessible through Expanded Academic ASAP (September 22, 1993– ) and LexisNexis Academic (January 1, 1982– ).

Journal of Quantitative Criminology (New York: Plenum/Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1985– , quarterly)

This unique online journal, published by Kluwer Academic Publishers (now part of the Springer publishing group), presents articles that apply quantitative techniques, including original research, critiques, and papers, and that explore new directions in the field of criminology. Available only by subscription, the journal is part of a licensed Web collection at Springer Link Articles published in the Journal of Quantitative Criminology are abstracted and indexed in several key library databases, including Criminal Justice Abstracts, Psychological Abstracts, PsycINFO, Social Sciences Citation Index, Social SciSearch, and Sociological Abstract.

The Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency (Beverly Hills, Calif.: SAGE Publications, 1964– , quarterly)

For more than 40 years, this respected international journal has presented a wide range of research and analysis of new advancements and the latest contemporary issues and controversies in the fields of criminology and criminal justice. Each issue is packed with in-depth articles, research notes, and essays examining the social, political, and economic aspects of criminal justice. Full-text articles are available through many leading library article databases, including Ingenta (1999– ).

Justice Quarterly (Omaha, Neb.: The Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, 1984– , quarterly)

The official journal of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, an international association established in 1963 to promote professional and scholarly activities in the field of criminal justice, each edition features articles on criminal justice and related issues. Quarterly published articles range from theoretical and empirical studies to qualitative and quantitative research to book reviews in the areas of crime and justice. Justice Quarterly is indexed in many popular library databases, including Criminal Justice Periodical Index and Criminal Justice Abstracts.

Western Criminology Review (San Bernardino, Calif.: Department of Criminal Justice, California State University, San Bernardino, 1998– , biannual)

Published by the Department of Criminal Justice, California State University, San Bernardino, Western Criminology Review is dedicated to scholarly discussion of policy, practice, research, and theory, reflecting national, international, and local concerns, in the fields of criminology and criminal justice. Articles review historical and contemporary perspectives, as well as a variety of methodologies related to this rapidly growing industry. Current and past issues are available in html and PDF format (

Selected Web Sites

General Information

Crime Library (

This continually growing collection features more than 500 nonfiction stories on current and historical crimes, criminals, criminal profiling, forensics, and trials. The collection covers recent crimes and the world’s most notorious criminal characters from the 1400s to the present. The Crime Library was originally founded by Marilyn J. Bardsley in January 1998 and, in September 2000, was purchased by Court TV as a joint venture of AOL-Time Warner and Liberty Media, Inc.

FindLaw Legal News: Crime (

Features crime news and commentary from current headlines, including a list of related criminal justice Web sites.

Internet Legal Resource Guide (

Founded in 1995 as a comprehensive online resource of legal information, this searchable directory indexes more than 4,000 Web sites listed by category, including thousands of Web pages, legal forms, and downloadable files. (

Provides links and direct Web connections to more than 20 award-winning national and regional legal publications online, including The American Lawyer, The National Law Journal, New York Law Journal, and Legal Times.

Librarians’ Index to the Internet—Law Topics (

Alphabetically arranged index of librarian-selected Internet resources for law topics, including crimes and criminal court cases.

Mega Links in Criminal Justice (

Compiled by Dr. Thomas R. O’Connor of North Carolina Wesleyan College’s Justice Studies Department, this site lists numerous criminal justice Web sites.

National Criminal Justice (NCJRS) Database Service (

The National Criminal Justice Reference Service Abstracts Database contains summaries of more than 200,000 criminal justice publications. To search the NCJRS collection of 7,000+ full-text publications, go to the NCJRS Virtual Library.

NCJRS Virtual Library—Full-Text Publications (

Searchable database of full-text publications by the NCJRS and other related government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.—Crime and Law Enforcement (

This site provides fast access to and easy navigation of indexed crime and law enforcement Web sites, covering crime news, crime prevention, criminal justice data and statistics, forensic medicine, hate crimes, homicide trends, and more.

World Criminal Justice Library Electronic Network (

Comprehensive source of links to criminal justice sites by country, bibliographies, library catalogs, online periodicals, new publications, publishers’ catalogs, and statistical resources in the field of criminal justice.

Statistics—Comprehensive Source

Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) (

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice, this site offers a broad spectrum of data and statistics. Areas covered include courts and sentencing, crimes and victims, criminal offenders, federal justice, law enforcement, and prosecution.

Statistics—Individual Sources

Homicide Trends in the United States (Bureau of Justice Statistics) (

Contains charts and descriptions of homicide patterns and trends in the United States from 1980 to the recent time.

National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) (

This ongoing household survey—the United States’s second largest—features detailed and specific data on the number of household burglaries, rapes, sexual assaults, motor vehicle thefts, and other thefts experienced by U.S. residents, age 12 and older, each year.

National Survey on Drug Use and Health (

Key source of information highlighting the consequences, patterns, and prevalence of alcohol and drug abuse among U.S. citizens age 12 and older.

Quick Facts—Bureau of Federal Prisons (

This collection lists statistics on prisoners by age, ethnicity, gender, race, security level, sentencing, and type of offense.

Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics (

Includes data from more than 100 sources about all aspects of criminal justice in the United States displayed in more than 600 tables.

Sourcebook of Federal Sentencing Statistics (

This federal sourcebook contains detailed statistics on the application of the federal sentencing guidelines and provides selected district, circuit, and national sentencing data.

Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) (

A nationwide cooperative statistical effort of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and almost 17,000 city, county, and state law enforcement agencies voluntarily reporting data on crimes brought to their attention.

Careers Related to Criminal Justice

Law, Public Safety, and Security Career Cluster (

Our legal system includes statutes (laws) enacted by legislatures (Congress) and decisions handed down by the courts (judicial system). The law provides us with guidelines and rules to live by in our personal, social, and business activities. When someone does not follow the laws or a law is unclear, our legal system includes ways to settle disputes and resolve conflicts. The law in the United States is based on democratic principles, and its goal is to protect individual rights and ensure a just and free society. The careers in this cluster deal with the creation, enforcement, and application of these laws and regulations.

Law Career Field (

Law professionals are employed in government in almost all types of law and by a variety of government agencies including the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Commerce, Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, Department of the Interior, Environmental Protection Agency, and the Federal Drug Administration. A vast number of law professionals work in the local, state, and federal court systems as well. Many lawyers today find work in the private sector for large and small firms and corporations. With the increasing numbers of lawsuits and the complexity of all areas of the law, the field of law is here to stay.

Public Safety Career Field (

Virtually every aspect of life involves policies, regulations, and laws that help to promote public safety. The exterior of a house meets certain codes, or rules, so that it won’t catch on fire easily. Every time you drive a car, you follow a number of rules so that you won’t cause or get in an accident. Even your dog must be controlled according to regulations like leash laws.

Public safety, and the rules that go with it, has been a concern for a long time. In the earliest societies it was clear that people would run wild unless certain rules of conduct were created. Some laws evolved from the common agreement of the group’s members, while others were handed down by the group’s leaders.

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