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Criminal Justice & Criminology

A historical overview of the two ever-changing disciplines of criminal justice and criminology, complete with congressional hearings, government reports, U.S. Attorney General publications, and an extensive collection of related books and periodicals.







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Understanding Criminal Justice and Criminology

Criminal justice refers to the system by which justice is dispensed toward those who have committed a crime. It includes the crime a defendant allegedly committed, the law enforcement officers who arrested him, the court system that prosecutes and defends him, and the system of punishment in place should the defendant be convicted. Throughout history, the basic elements of criminal justice have existed in one form or another, though the mechanisms by which they’ve been expressed have changed over the centuries. For example, while exile and branding have fallen out as acceptable punishment for criminals, imprisonment and parole have risen up to take their place. 

Criminology, on the other hand, is the study of criminal behavior on both an individual and societal level. It intersects with the criminal justice system by analyzing, for example, the effectiveness of certain types of punishment, the causation of crime, or the rehabilitation of offenders. Over time, different schools of thought regarding criminology have evolved, with the subject exploding in both popularity and related disciplines in the mid-to-late 20th century. Today, criminology is a codified discipline that brings together sociology, psychology, biology, political science, philosophy, and history to understand the root cause of crime and the most optimal methods of preventing it.

About the Criminal Justice & Criminology Database

As the world’s scientific and moral understanding changes over time, so do the systems by which nations keep the peace. The American criminal justice system of today continues to evolve as new laws are passed, new punishments devised, and—often thanks to the work of criminologists—new ideas are introduced. With recent protests regarding police brutality and law enforcement reform, topics in the fields of criminal justice and criminology have risen to the forefront of global awareness, demonstrating the necessity for authoritative resources on the subjects.

HeinOnline’s Criminal Justice & Criminology database offers a historical overview of these two ever-changing disciplines and their various expressions in American and English law over time. Collecting Bureau of Justice statistics, memoirs of retired Scotland Yard investigators, congressional hearings, rare or hard-to-find accounts of prison life in days long past, and much more, this collection explores how criminal justice has changed in America, and the effect criminology has had on those changes.

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Subject-Coded Content for Easy Access

To help users navigate the content spanning these two wide-reaching disciplines, all titles in the collection have been categorized into 16 subject areas:

Find publications published by the U.S. Attorney General’s Office, titles about the U.S. Attorney General, and titles on or about the U.S. Justice Department.

Track changes in crime in the United States with raw data from Bureau of Justice Statistics and other law enforcement agencies. 

Explore the policies behind drug control, a dominant focal point of the U.S. criminal justice system since Nixon’s presidency.

Find documents relating to the advent of fingerprinting, the evolution of DNA testing, and other advances in forensics.

Find titles that either deal broadly with how justice is administered or focus on a particular aspect of the criminal justice system.

We’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse with access to titles about how law enforcement has handled organized crime. You may even discover some tales of gangsters’ exploits!

Discover titles addressing individuals who reoffend (recidivists) and the successful reintegration of offenders into society upon completion of their sentence.

Works under this category address the criminal justice issues apparent in rape and sexual assault cases.

Access a bibliographic rogues’ gallery of criminal exploits from history and the not-so-distant past, as well as publications on specific crimes not covered under their own dedicated topic. 

Explore how attitudes and trends across the discipline of criminology have changed over the years.

Read congressional hearings and analyses on specific laws proposed to fight crime in the United States.

Discover titles that discuss prevention, contributing factors, and appropriate responses to juvenile delinquency.

Locate titles which focus on specific law enforcement agencies and policing policies, police brutality and police reform, as well as those which tell some real-life detective stories.

Track historical changes in methods of punishment and find works on prison, parole, capital punishment, and even forced sterilization.

Sit down with Scotland Yard detectives, criminals, police court reporters, and lawyers as they recount their personal experiences in the justice system.

Locate titles focusing on the relationship both between offender and victim as well as between victim and justice system.

Database Tools and Features

Extensive Government Documents

Discover congressional hearings covering a variety of criminal justice topics, as well as related CRS and GAO Reports.

Congressional hearings in Criminal Justice & Criminology database
U.S. Attorney General reports and opinions in Criminal Justice database

Attorney General Reports and Opinions

Easily access publications from the U.S. Attorney General, including official reports, opinions, and memoranda.

Authoritative Books and Periodicals

Contextualize the government documents provided with hundreds of contemporary and historical criminal justice and criminology publications.

Criminal justice and criminology books and periodicals in HeinOnline

Using the Criminal Justice & Criminology Database

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