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Criminal Justice Subject Guide: Start Researching

Guide to researching Criminal Justice topics.

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Conversations in Criminal Justice

A selection of recent articles about major criminal justice policy debates

Engel, R. S., McManus, H. D., & Herold, T. D. (2020). Does de-escalation training work?: A systematic review and call for evidence in police use-of-force reformCriminology & Public Policy19(3), 721.

Demir, M., Braga, A. A., & Apel, R. (2020). Effects of police body-worn cameras on citizen compliance and cooperation: Findings from a quasi-randomized controlled trial. Criminology & Public Policy19(3), 855.

Research and Evaluation Center  (November, 2020). Reducing Violence Without the Police: A Review of the Eviidence. John Jay College

Isidoro Rodriguez (2021) Can We Lower Urban Violence Without Police? The Crime Report 

“Urban violence is not intractable, it’s not an impossible challenge,” said Thomas Abt, Senior Fellow at the CCJ and Director of the National Commision on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice. “We can reduce urban violence, we have on many different occasions, and these strategies are cost effective, they’re proven, they don’t require new legislation, and they don’t even require deep institutional reforms.”

Aviv, Rachel (October 11, 2021) The Shadow Penal System for Struggling Kids. The New Yorker 

Criminal Justice Expert Panels Texas A&M Justice Lab Begun in 2021, the expert panels survey leading criminologists for their opinions about what the reseearch suggests about best practices. The first surveys address the effectiveness of pretrial detention, increasing the number of police and gun violence prevention programs. The survey format does not have room for elaborate opinions. Castleton One Search may find journal articles by the surveyed experts. 

Doyle L. and  Nebmhard S. (2021) Police Traffic Stops Have Little to Do with Public Safety. Urban Institute. Washington, D.C. 

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Topics & Background Information

Need to select a topic or find background information on your topic?  Search for your topic in Credo Reference:


Or try one of these online reference resources: 

Citing Sources

Free Citation Managers

Citation managers make it easy to organize and cite references in class papers. You can set the citation manager to any citation format (APA 7th, MLA, Chicago, etc.). ZoteroBib is the best choice for a single paper with less than 20 references. Zotero and Mendeley are better for organizing scores of references on a subject in order to cite them in multiple papers or in a large paper.  

Best Bets

Start your research in Castleton OneSearch or one of the databases below. 

Selecting Sources

Selecting and evaluating sources is about credibility - the credibility of the authors of the sources and your own credibility.  Consider the quality of the source, whether the author is trustworthy on that topic, and what the source offers (does it offer facts? an opinion? a new idea?).  

Not sure which sources are best? View this Evaluating Sources for Credibility video.

New Research Alerts

By signing into CastletonOneSearch with your Castleton login, you can create RSS email or text alerts that inform you about new research. Below is a RSS Feed showing new journal articles added to Castleton database which discuss COVID and criminal justice topics (corrections, policing, etc.). 

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Below is a RSS Feed showing the most recent peer-reviewed journal articles resulting from a search of Castleton OneSearch for the search below. 

bail OR pretrial in the title 

 AND reform* in the title

The asterisk after reform (reform*) finds reform or reforms or reforming 

Full results of the search 

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Below is a RSS Feed showing the most recent peer-reviewed journal articles found by a search of Castleton OneSearch for the search below. 

police OR "law enforcement" in the subject (indexing) field

 "use of force" OR "police shoot*" OR "officer involved shoot*" in the abstract (summary) field 

The quotes find exact terms like "use of force".   

The asterisk is what librarians call a wildcard. It finds words with similar endings. "Officer involved shoot* finds officer involved shooting and shootings.

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