Subject Guide - Criminal Justice

Criminal justice is interdisciplinary, drawing upon many different disciplines for theoretical and methodological approaches. Among these disciplines are sociology, political science, psychology, social work, economics, anthropology, geography, public administration, urban studies, demography, history, philosophy, biology, and law.


Reference Resources           

Encyclopedias and handbooks are good starting places for background information or to get an understanding of major concepts. The titles listed below are located in the Reference Room.

  • The Encyclopedia of American Crime  Ref. HV6789 .S54 2001
    Provides detailed descriptions of various types of crimes, explanations of con games and swindles, profiles of famous weapons and crimes.
  • Encyclopedia of Prisons & Correctional Facilities  Ref. HV947 .E693 2005
    Draws together up-to-date statistics and academic research to sketch out the scope of prisons and punishment in the U.S.
  • Encyclopedia of Criminology  Ref. HV6017 .E5295 2005 (3 volumes)
    Multidisciplinary three-volume set providing quick references to traditional and contemporary topics.
  • The Oxford Handbook of Criminology  2nd ed.  Ref. HV 6025  .O87 1997
    Classic volume for students, practitioners, and academics.  Explores major sociological theories of crime and current theoretical developments.


Finding Books           


Books can be found by searching  MaagNet  or  the OhioLINK Catalog.   Use the OhioLINK catalog to locate items available from other OhioLINK institutions. These items can be requested and delivered to Maag Library for pickup.
Criminal Justice resources are located throughout the library: items in the Reference Room, Serials and in the circulating collection are all arranged according to the Library of Congress Classification System. Once you locate a book or journal that is useful, you can locate information on the same or similar topics by locating the same call number in the other areas of the library. See Call Numbers and Floor Plans for assistance. Some suggested LC call numbers:
  • HV 7231-9960 - Criminal Justice
  • HV 6074 - Fingerprints
  • HV 6069 - Juvenile Delinquency
  • HV 7551-8280.7 - Police
  • HV 8665 - Prisons
 To find books on your topic, search MaagNet or the OhioLINK catalog using subjects or keywords. Some examples of subject searches are:
  • Recidivism
  • Violent crimes
  • White collar crimes
  • Criminal investigation
  • Police psychology
Finding Articles            

For more information on finding articles, see Where to Start to Find Articles.


Many Criminal Justice journals are now available through online subscription databases and through the OhioLINK Electronic Journal Center. Various terms can be used to search these databases, including subject, keywords or  authors'  names. Most databases allow access by current YSU faculty, students and staff from off campus. For more information about connecting from home, see off-campus access.


Key databases

SocINDEX   on campus   off campus URL    (EbscoHOST)
A comprehensive, high quality sociology research database.  Includes coverage of subdisciplines of sociology, including  criminology, criminal justice, and a host of related social issues.  


Academic Search Premier     on campus    off campus URL   (EbscoHOST)
Powerful,  scholarly, multi-discipline, full text database designed specifically for academic institutions. This resource  contains full text for over 3400 scholarly publications, many related to the Criminal Justice field.  


Sociological Collection       on campus     off campus URL   (EbscoHOST)
This database provides coverage of more than 500 full text journals, including nearly 500 peer-reviewed titles. Sociological Collection offers information in all areas of sociology, including social behavior, human tendencies, interaction, relationships, community development, culture and social structure.


Psychology & Behavioral Sciences Collection    on campus   off campus URL  (EbscoHOST)
Covers topics such as emotional and behavioral characteristics, psychiatry & psychology, mental processes, anthropology, and observational and experimental methods.

**ALL OF THE ABOVE DATABASES CAN BE SEARCHED AT THE SAME TIME!  Simply go to the EBSCO list,  select the above databases, and proceed with your search.   off campus URL

Electronic Journal Center
OhioLINK's collection of full-text electronic journals. Browse or search the online journals.  Note:  many of the journals in the Electronic Journal Center are also indexed in SocINDEX and ACADEMIC SEARCH PREMIER.
On- and off-campus access


Criminal Justice Abstracts   on campus   off campus URL
Provides comprehensive coverage of the major journals in criminology and related disciplines, extensive coverage of books, and unparalleled access to reports from government and nongovernmental agencies.  Some, but not all, of the materials indexed are full-text.   Note:  The SAGE FULL-TEXT CRIMINOLOGY COLLECTION is now available as part of this database.


NCJRS  National Criminal Justice Reference Service    
Searches the full-text documents on the NCJRS web site and the web sites of the agencies of the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

These databases provide a starting point for your research. To see more available databases, visit the Research Databases page and look at other databases listed in the subject categories  of LAW & LEGISLATION or SOCIAL SCIENCES..

  • Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics - most current year in Ready Reference HV7245 .N37b.   Previous years are located in Government Documents J 29.9/6: dating back to 1995. (Third Floor)
  • Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics online version    An annual compilation of criminal justice and related statistics available from a variety of governmental and private agencies.
  • Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) online (begins with 1995)  The description below is courtesy of the UCR web site:

    The Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program was conceived in 1929 by the International Association of Chiefs of Police to meet a need for reliable, uniform crime statistics for the nation. In 1930, the FBI was tasked with collecting, publishing, and archiving those statistics. Today, several annual statistical publications, such as the comprehensive Crime in the United States, are produced from data provided by nearly 17,000 law enforcement agencies across the United States.

    Other annual publications, such as Hate Crime Statistics and Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted address specialized facets of crime.

  • Bureau of Justice Statistics The Bureau of Justice Statistics collects, analyzes, publishes and disseminates information on crime, criminal offenders, victims of crime, and the operationof justice systems at all levels of government.  BJS is the primary source of U.S. criminal justice statistics.
  • Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services  
    Crime statistics for the state of Ohio.  (from Uniform Crime Reports)
Career Information           
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook  - Ask at Reference Desk HF5382.5.U5O23
    Also online at
    Nationally recognized source of career information, designed to provide valuable assistance to individuals making decisions about their future work lives.  Revised every two years.
  • Criminal Justice Job Information (a collection of links from Michigan State University)
  • LearningExpress Library   (Create a user account the first time you log on)
    A new database providing online interactive practice tests in preparation for several types of exams including the SAT, GED, and vocational tests such as Corrections Officer Practice Tests, Police Officer Practice Tests, Police Sergeant Practice Tests and Treasury Enforcement Agent Practice Tests.
  • Criminal Justice USA - Criminal Justice Career Information
    Provides aspiring criminal justice professionals with current, reliable and informative career information and job descriptions designed to help them make an informed decision when it comes to selecting a career in criminal justice or law enforcement.


Web Resources           

An abundance of reliable web sites are available for criminal justice.  Listed below are a few of the sites: