Web Sites An Annotated "Webliography"
Kenneth Fink Information Services Librarian
note that there was an incorrect URL and other information
in the paragraph in this article on COPLINK. This
information has now been corrected within the article.
Our apologies to WhiteOak Communications, which
represents COPLINK for its client, Knowledge Computing
Criminology, the study of crime, criminal behavior, and
its prevention, has been a part of the human condition
since Cain murdered his brother, Abel. But the world is
far more complicated (and more dangerous) now than it
was then. Today the nation state can look like a modern
day Cain, pointing Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) at
any perceived threat which is no crime as long
as you're one of the nations "permitted" to have them.
There are also frightening entities called NGOs
nongovernmental organizations, which include the Sierra
Club, but also terrorist organizations that stand poised
to acquire a WMD (incidentally terrorists are on
the official "not allowed to have nuclear bombs" list).
The sheer number of new acronyms is alarming.
While we still struggle with the more prosaic crimes such as murder, rape,
arson, and fraud, we now have to worry about chemical and biological warfare,
radioactive dirty bombs, cybercrime, cyberwarfare, and nuclear ballistic
missile attack from dictatorial goons and extremist groups with deep pockets.
Some even claim that the billions of dollars we pour into violent movies,
brutal sports, and misogynistic music encourage violence.
And who would deny that violence sells? This world is both a wonderful
and frightening place and ultimately no one gets out alive. But then
no one wants to leave it prematurely, either. And, since September 11, everyone even
Americans oceans away from most of the world's inhabitants has become
a potential victim in what we perceive as a new reality a global terrorist
threat. But "global terrorist threat" aside, terror stalks us in our daily
lives. What about the terror experienced in a home invasion, an assault,
or physical threat? How many of us feel safe walking around our own neighborhoods
The following list may serve as an introduction to the many Web sites devoted
to both the prosaic and exotic in the field of criminology.
Government Web Sites and
a Commercial Site or Two
Governments around the world have built criminology Web sites devoted to
providing not only statistical and social analyses of criminality, but also
sites devoted to advising citizens on how to avoid being victimized. Many
agencies of the U.S. government have created Web sites that examine most
types of criminal activity and with enough statistics to make anyone look
over his or her shoulder on a regular basis.
However, the good news is that overall in the U.S. "violent crime rates
have declined, reaching the lowest levels ever recorded in 2001," according
to the National Crime Victimization Survey at the Bureau of Justice Statistics
(BJS) [http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/glance/tables/viortrdtab.htm]. In 1994,
there were 51 victims of violent crime per 1,000 people over the age of 12.
In 2001, that number dropped by over half, to 24 per 1,000.
The United States Department of Justice [http://www.usdoj.gov/] site covers
all aspects of crime and punishment. It also links to the new Department
of Homeland Security Web site. There are links to primary information for
victims of crime, as well as resources on terrorism, civil rights violations,
domestic violence, elder justice, youth violence, and fraud, among others.
For example, the link to information on domestic violence includes toll-free
domestic violence telephone hotlines to call and additional information resources
on stalking and help for victims of domestic violence. This large Web site
also contains a number of useful subpages.
The Bureau of Justice Statistics [http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/
is a department of the U.S. Department of Justice. The
BJS compiles data and statistical analysis of "crime,
criminal offenders, victims of crime, and the operation
of justice systems at all levels of government." Looking
at some of the statistics, one might almost conclude
that it's probably best to simply avoid relationships
whenever possible, as "more than six in 10 rape or sexual
assault victims said that the offender was an intimate,
other relative, a friend, or an acquaintance," according
to the BJS. In contrast, one is more likely to be robbed
by a stranger than by a person one knows. (Seventy-eight
percent of males versus 51 percent of females reported
robbery by a stranger.)
Nevertheless, violent crime rates are lower today than in the past. Between
1994 and 2001, violent crime (homicide, rape, arson, aggravated assault)
fell 52 percent. Many provocative statistics appear on the BJS Web site,
especially at Key Crime and Justice Fact at a Glance page [http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/glance.htm] and at the Bureau of Justice Statistics Publications, many of which can be
downloaded as PDF files from the Web site [http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pubalp2.htm].
The BJS also sponsors other excellent sources of statistical information
on crime: the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data [http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/NACJD/],
the Federal Justice Statistics Resource Center (FJRSC) [http://fjsrc.urban.org/],
and the Infobase of State Activities and Research (ISAR) [http://www.jrsainfo.org/database/index.html].
What can one do to prevent life's inevitable toe tag from arriving prematurely?
The National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) [http://www.ncjrs.org/],
a research department and resource center, may help. Part of the U.S. Justice
Department, the NCJRS has both free full-text publications online and print
publications for sale. It has more than "160,000 criminal justice publications
... including books, refereed articles, and reports." Many of the print publications
are available at no cost in PDF or HTML format. For example, "Indicators
of School Crime and Safety" is a 200-page study available in PDF format.
A print copy ships in 3 days. The NCJRS site offers a wealth of articles
dealing with victims of crimes. A special section called "In the Spotlight" addresses
current issues such as school safety, hate crimes, and club drugs like gamma
hydroxybutyrate (GHB), the infamous "date-rape" drug associated with "drug-facilitated
sexual assault, rape, and robbery." Fact sheets are also provided for the
benefit of consumers and law enforcement officials.
The Office of Justice Program is another division
of the U.S. Department of Justice [http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/home.htm].
The OJP highlights resources for victims of crime. It
also offers a vast library [http://virlib.ncjrs.org/AlphaTitles.asp]
of online studies. Topics include "Acquaintance Rape
of College Students," "Addressing Community Gang Problems:
A Practical Guide," "Preventing Crime: What Works, What
Doesn't, What's Promising," "Annual Report on School
Safety," and "Are You Being Stalked? Tips for Prevention."
The studies are intended for police officers, criminology
scholars, and consumers a most practical resource.
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is the research, development, and
evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice, dedicated to researching
crime control and justice issues [http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/]. NIJ provides "objective,
independent, non-partisan, evidence-based knowledge and tools to meet the
challenges of crime and justice, particularly at the State and local levels." NIJ
also provides a varied collection of research studies of interest to law
enforcement officials, criminology experts, and interested laypersons. Topics
address violence against women, satisfaction with the police, etc., and even
a link to the National Institute of Justice International [http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/international/welcome.html].
The NIJ even provides targeted programs like, "Conflict Resolution for School
Personnel: An Interactive School Safety Training Tool."
The Department of Homeland Security [http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/] is
the U.S. government's well-publicized effort to assure citizens that terrorism
is being taken seriously since the September 11 tragedy. The DHS home page
announces the current level of terrorist threat using a color-coded system
where Red represents the highest risk of terrorist incident to Orange, Yellow,
Blue, and Green (green being the lowest threat level). At the time of this
writing, the DHS Security Advisory System has put the country on a yellow
alert status. The DHS Web site (select Research & Technology from the
home page) contains discussions of biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons
and their potential threat, plus the measures being taken to prevent their
use [http://www.llnl.gov/hso/programs.html] against the United States.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) [http://www.fbi.gov/] is also
in the counter terrorism business, including cyber-based attacks and other
technology crimes (ironic in light of the news media's reporting of the FBI's
scandalously outdated computer system). Historically, the FBI has been associated
with espionage investigations and federal crimes like kidnapping and bank
robbery. Along with its Top 10 Fugitives List, the FBI publishes in its library
and reference section a selection of reports for the public and law enforcement
[http://www.fbi.gov/publications.htm]. Titles include "A Parent's Guide to
Internet Safety," "Handbook of Forensic Services," "Terrorism in the United
States," and "The School Shooter: A Threat Assessment." The FBI also has
a new program called ANSIR the Awareness of National Security and
Response program [http://www.fbi.gov/hq/ci/ansir/ansirhome.htm]. ANSIR is
the agency's effort to make "unclassified national security threat and warning
information" available to "U.S. corporations, law enforcement, and other
The U.S. Secret Service's National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC) [http://www.treas.gov/usss/ntac.htm] offers advice and assistance to "law enforcement, professionals, and organizations" responsible
for assessing and preventing targeted violence. A sample of the free publications
that you can download include "Threat Assessment: An Approach to Prevent
Targeted Violence," "Assassination in the United States: An Operational Study
of Recent Assassins, Attackers, and Near Lethal Approaches," "Threat Assessment
in Schools," and "Assessing Threats of Targeted Group Violence: Contributions
from Social Psychology."
"International Crime Threat Assessment" is a fascinating
document and the brainchild of the U.S. National Security
The Clinton administration ordered the creation of this
document in 2000. Representatives from many of the government's
law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, CIA, DEA,
NSC, and Treasury Department, drafted this assessment
of the scope and activities of international crime and
a number of objectives designed to counter the threat.
Objectives include denying safe haven to international
criminals, protecting U.S. borders from smuggling activities,
countering international financial crime, and fostering
international cooperation and rule of law. This paper
discusses the global context of international crime;
specific areas of international crime that affect the
U.S.; consequence to U.S. interests; and the future
of international crime.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has its own Publications archive [http://www.defenselink.mil/pubs/] with a large selection of terrorism studies. This Web site is quite large
and include links to each of the nation's Armed Services, as well as the
Pentagon, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Missile Defense Agency (that's a new
one), et al.
The U.N. is also concerned with the impact of criminal activity on the
well-being of the international community. The United Nations Office for
Drug Control and Crime Prevention (ODCCP) [http://odccp.org] Web site offers
analysis of and strategies for reducing the illegal drug trade, confronting
terrorism, and stopping the Human Trafficking trade, among others.
Traveling abroad? Would you like to know each country's crime statistics
for robbery or muggings? You can find those stats at the Interpol Web site.
Interpol is the acronym for The International Criminal Police Organization,
which [http://www.interpol.int/] was created to facilitate cross-border criminal
police cooperation. In Interpol, 181 member countries work together to fight
terrorism, drugs, financial crime, and children and human trafficking. Interpol's
presence is found on five continents. Centered in France, Interpol solves
only international crimes. Every member country has its own National Central
Bureau staffed with its own police. The Web site provides statistics on international
crime, as well as information and links to topics such as Stolen Art (and
recent art thefts), Children and Human Trafficking, Drugs, and even photographs
of the 71 most-wanted men and women around the world.
The British Society of Criminology has a fairly good Web links page to
a variety of criminology resources [http://www.britsoccrim.org/links.htm].
There is a dead link to Cambridge University's Institute of Criminology,
which has also created an excellent "Criminology links" page. The correct
address is http://www.crim.cam.ac.uk/library/links/index.html.
Fred Cohen and Associates [http://www.all.net] was recently listed in PC
Magazine's list of "Top 100 Web Sites You Didn't Know You Couldn't
Live Without."1 Fred Cohen's is a commercial Web site, but contains
valuable information for computer security consultants, as well as for
individuals concerned with "securing" their computer system[s] and other
aspects of cyber-crime. There are articles on Information Warfare, one
entitled, "Deception for Protection," and the "50 Ways" series, which includes "Software
Security Tips," "50 Ways to Protect Your Information Assets When Cruising
the Internet," and other topics.
Professional Associations, Schools,
and Journals in Criminology
If criminology in the broadest sense is "the study of crime, its perpetrators,
and its causes; [as well as] an interest in its prevention, and in the deterrence,
treatment, and punishment of offenders,"2 then forensic science
is the application of science to the identification and capture of those
who commit crimes. To that excellent end, resources in the field of criminology
include professional associations like the American Academy of Forensic Sciences
(AAFS) [http://www.aafs.org] and its professional journal, the Journal
of Forensic Sciences.
Defined by the AAFS as the "application of science
to the law,"3
forensic science is broken down by the AAFS organization
into eight specializations: criminalistics, pathology/biology,
toxicology, psychiatry/behavioral science, odontology,
questioned documents, engineering, and jurisprudence4.
The AAFS Web site describes these specialties and includes
Web links under "Resources" to many of the professional
organizations and publications associated with each
The AAFS Web site also lists under "Resources" a career
guide for those interested in pursuing a career in one
of the forensic sciences. The career guide is an excellent
tool for discovering the function of each of these specialties.
Membership in the AAFS is fairly inexpensive: $25 for
provisional members and $15 for a student membership.
One is a provisional member until one applies to be
a Member or a Fellow of the AAFS, for which there are
significant professional milestones required.
The American Society of Criminology (ASC) is another practical resource
for current information [http://www.asc41.com/]. "The American Society of
Criminology is an international organization concerned with criminology ...
scholarly, scientific, and professional knowledge concerning the etiology,
prevention, control, and treatment of crime and delinquency." The journals Criminology and Criminology
and Public Policy and a newsletter, the Criminologist, comprise
ASC's three official publications. Annual journal subscriptions are $120
each and $25 for the newsletter. With an $80 membership, the subscription
price drops to $35 for each journal and the newsletter. Criminology abstracts
are available online from 1980-2003, Criminology and Public Policy from
2001-2003. The strength of the Web site lies in the online abstract service.
The Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS) [http://www.acjs.org] was
established in 1963 to encourage professionalism and scholarship in the field
of criminal justice. Under "Publications," the site offers some good Internet
links to a variety of scholarly journals. Under "Links" you can access the
Rand Corporation, a nonprofit organization that publishes online papers on
topics of interest to criminology scholars. The ACJS also has useful links
to organizations connected with criminology. Annual membership costs only
$75 ($50 for graduate students) and includes a subscription to Justice
Quarterly, as well as to a variety of criminal justice newsletters.
Universities and Think Tanks
Because criminology, and especially the arena of forensic
science, employs a great many sociological and scientific
disciplines, searching a university library's catalog
for books or other resources can be challenging. Consider,
for example, that criminology falls within the Library
of Congress Subject Heading of "Social Pathology, Social
and Public Welfare, Criminology (HV)" [http://www.tlcdelivers.com/tlc/crs/LCSO0006.htm#HM],
which includes Substance Abuse, Degeneration, Criminology,
Crimes and Offenses, Criminal Justice and Administration,
and Penology. And within the broad concept of Criminology
is Forensic Science, "the application of science to
the processes and problems of the law." Indeed, the
professional society of the American Academy of Forensic
Sciences has nine sections: Criminalistics, Engineering
Sciences, General Jurisprudence, Odontology, Pathology/Biology,
Physical Anthropology, Psychiatry/Behavioral Sciences,
Questioned Documents, and Toxicology. Professor Killoran
breaks this down further to a list of more than 150
additional Library of Congress Subject Heading to topics
such as DNA Fingerprints, Chromatography, Hair Analysis,
Explosives Identification, et al5.
That being said, colleges and universities with criminal
justice programs are often excellent resources for Internet,
as well as print materials in criminology. A list of
schools offering criminal justice undergraduate and
graduate programs can be found through the American
Academy of Forensic Sciences Web site [http://www.aafs.org/?section_id=
The following colleges represent only a sample of some
of the best resources created by academic institutions.
The John Jay College of Criminal Justice [http://www.jjay.cuny.edu/] is
an excellent Web site for not only learning about careers in criminology,
but also a superb resource for identifying useful print and electronic
resources in the field. From the home page, click on the box under Prospective
Students and select "Library" to go to John Jay's Lloyd Sealy Library. At
the Lloyd Sealy home page, on the right-hand side, click on "Selected Internet
Links" to go to a comprehensive site with links to a wide variety of criminal
justice topics. You will be amazed at the depth of the information: From
the September 11 digital archive to the World Criminal Justice Library Network,
there are links to every aspect of the field of criminal justice.
The site also offers superb guides to other print and electronic sources.
From the Lloyd Sealy library home page, on the right-hand side, scroll down
to where you see Research Guides and Bibliographies. For seminal print resources
in criminology, the John Jay College of Criminal Justice has created a marvelous
series of guides to classic texts, standard encyclopedias, essential directories,
and to leading journals in criminology.
[http://www.lib.jjay.cuny.edu/researchnew.html]. This is a wonderful resource
for the student of criminology looking for extensive coverage of print
reference works in this field and
the single best library resource this writer has found.
Criminal Justice Links is a Web site created by Cecil E. Greek for the
School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida State University and
offers a good list of Web links [http://www.criminology.fsu.edu/cjlinks/].
The University of Delaware Library [http://www2.lib.udel.edu/subj/crjs/internet.htm] has assembled a fine collection of links to criminal justice Web sites. The
site makes finding a specific area of study straightforward and easy. Links
to Juvenile Delinquency, Drugs & Alcohol, Federal Agencies, Associations & Organizations,
International Resources, and Electronic Journals, are a few of the subjects
easily accessible from the home page.
The U.S. Army War College [http://carlisle-www.army.mil/] has a link on
its home page to "Search Student Research Papers." Type "terrorism" in the
search box, for example, and retrieve more than 120 papers written on some
aspect of that subject. A sample of titles includes "Chemical Warfare, Terrorism,
and National Defense," "The Transformation of Counter-Terrorism," and "Influence
Management: A Tool for the War on Terrorism." Incidentally, the student papers
are often written by high-ranking soldier-scholars, providing a unique perspective
from the battlefield and the academy. Type "cyber" and retrieve 23 papers,
including "Wielding the Cyber Sword: Exploiting the Power of Information
Operations," "Defensive Information Operations An Interagency Process," and "Information
Operations and Asymmetric Operations Are We Ready." At the bottom
of the home page you will see links to the Center for Strategic Leadership,
Military History Institute, and Strategic Studies Institute.
The Rand Corporation [http://www.rand.org/]
is a highly regarded public policy think tank with research
areas that include Civil and Criminal Justice, International
Policy, National Security, and Terrorism. Often employed
by the U.S. government, many of its studies are classified.
Many others are for sale through its publications catalog
and often downloadable for free from its Web site. Rand's
catalog of terrorism studies is impressive and available
at no charge. Here are some examples (and the direct
link): "The Advent of Netwar," "After 9/11: Stress and
Coping Across America," "Biometrics: A Look at Facial
Here's the link to Rand's publications on Civil and
Criminal Justice: http://www.rand.org/justice_area/pubs.html.
The Hoover Institute at Stanford University is another highly respected
think tank of a more conservative stripe [http://www-hoover.stanford.edu/].
The Institute also publishes many public policy papers online. Select the "Publications" link
from its home page to search its archives. A number of articles discuss criminology
issues, such as the controversial 3-Strikes law.
The Heritage Foundation is a nonprofit organization that engages in pubic
policy research [http://www.heritage.org/research/]. It's considered by many
to be an organization that tends to advance issues and outcomes in support
of the U.S. Republican party agenda. You'll find a variety of documents at
its Web site: "Backgrounders" (its version of a policy paper, i.e., shorter
and condensed without the depth of scholarship), executive memoranda (short,
intense policy statements sent to persuade elected officials and other decision
makers), Heritage Lectures (famous folks paid for their speaking time), Testimonies
(what their leading experts have claimed before legislative bodies), and
Web Memos (online statements on fast-breaking issues). In the area of Crime,
a few representative titles include "Why the Bush Administration Is Right
on the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services," "How Congress Can
Improve Its Financial Support for Law Enforcement," and "Sentencing and Enforcement
of White Collar Crimes." The Heritage Foundation has also issued public policy
papers in a variety of domestic and foreign subjects ranging from the Family
and Religion to Homeland Security and ABM/Missile Defense.
Criminology journals offer the latest research in the field. While the
majority of the journals require an annual subscription fee, a small number
are available full text on the Internet. For this rapidly changing field,
journal literature supplies perhaps the best information on the latest scientific
applications in criminology.
The Journal of Forensic Sciences is the internationally recognized
journal of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. The Journal of Forensic
Sciences has a searchable online index from 1981 to the present. An individual
subscription costs $249, while an institutional subscription costs $374.
For $25 per article, subscribers (only) can download articles from past issues.
The Western Criminology Review (WCR)
is the official journal of the Western Society of Criminology.
"The WCR is a forum for the publication and discussion
of theory, research, policy, and practice in the rapidly
changing and interdisciplinary fields of criminology
and criminal justice" and "reflect(s) local (Western),
national, and international concerns. Historical and
contemporary perspectives are encouraged, as are diverse
methodological approaches." The WCR allows free
access to the full text of articles online as well as
its archive. Published semiannually, the WCR provides
its own search engine to research back issues. A cautionary
note: Unfortunately, it's not clear what qualifications
the authors possess. In many cases, little is mentioned
beyond their names.
The National Criminal Justice Reference Service Abstracts
Database (NCJRS) "contains summaries of more than 170,000
criminal justice publications" [http://abstractsdb.ncjrs.org/content/AbstractsDB_Search.asp].
It also has a collection of more than 7,000 full-text
publications available at the NCJRS Virtual Library:
According to Dr. Katherine B. Killoran in her excellent article "Forensic
Science: A Library Research Guide," "The interdisciplinary nature of forensic
science makes it difficult to define the scope of forensic science periodicals....
[S]ome forensic scientists publish their findings in the prestigious general
science journals such as Nature or Science."6 That
being said, the following list includes a selection of excellent journals
in the field. A more complete list appears on the John Jay College of Criminal
Justice Web site at http://www.lib.jjay.cuny.edu/research/forpsyc.html and
http://www.lib.jjay.cuny.edu/old/forscigu.htm. While most of the journals
require a paid subscription for full-text online access, many publishers
make access to online abstracts and archives available to everyone and
some permit online purchase of article reprints.
Contemporary Justice Review [http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/titles/10282580.html] is a Routledge publication. A quarterly journal, Contemporary Justice
Review publishes articles on interdisciplinary "social and restorative
justice theory and practice; peacemaking criminology; community building
as harm prevention; structural alternatives to nation-state and corporate
violence; conflict resolution and peaceful methods of problem-solving; environmental
justice; and issues of justice in the family, school, and workplace." The CJR solicits
articles that "offer nonviolent, needs-based solutions to needs-denying and
power-based social arrangements." A sample issue is available at the Web
site. An individual subscription is $57/institutional $179. An FYI: Routledge
publishes a variety of journals in the field of criminology.
The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology, a Lippincott
publication [http://www.amjforensicmedicine.com/], publishes articles on "new
examination and documentation procedures, as well as provocative discussions
of the forensic pathologist's expanding role...occupational and environmental
health...case reports, technical notes on new examination devices, and reports
of medico legal practices worldwide." This is the medical examiners' (i.e.,
coroners/pathologists) professional publication. Fascinating topics. For
example, the current issue, made available at no charge online, looks at
the tragic deaths of athletes in the article "Pathology of Sudden Death in
Recreational Sports Activities: An Autopsy Study of 31 Cases." An individual
subscription costs $275/institutional $468. Articles can be purchased online
from the archives for $20 per article. The online archive begins in 2001.
Canadian Society of Forensic Science Journal [http://www.csfs.ca/journal/journal.htm] publishes "original papers, comments and reviews in the various branches
of forensic science ... [including] forensic chemistry, forensic toxicology...questioned
documents, forensic odontology, firearms examination, forensic pathology,
forensic biology (including serology, hair and fiber examination and molecular
genetics) and forensic anthropology." A subscription is $85.
Forensic Science Review [http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Galaxy/2044/] has a mission to bridge the gap between "the rapid advances in forensic science
[and the] need for a review journal to bridge the gap between research-oriented
journals and reference volumes." FSW "fills this void and provide[s] a base
for authors to extrapolate state-of-the-art information and to synthesize
and translate it into readable review articles." A subscription costs $60
Sage Publications, a publisher of scholarly texts and journals, has it
own list of criminology journals [http://www.sagefulltext.com/jrnl-list.htm#crime].
Scholars and other experts in criminology read and publish in many of these
journals and many of the titles are cited in Thomson ISI's prestigious Social
SciSearch database. Here's a complete list. The titles can be purchased on
an individual subscription basis or collectively by an institution. Sage
also has a 30-day free trial available. A subscription to the collection
includes electronic access to all 15 journals.
Child Maltreatment, 1996
Crime & Delinquency,
Criminal Justice, 2001
Criminal Justice and Behavior,
Criminal Justice Policy Review,
Homicide Studies, 1997
Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice,
Journal of Interpersonal Violence,
Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency,
Police Quarterly, 2000
The Prison Journal, 1992
Punishment & Society,
Trauma, Violence & Abuse,
Violence Against Women,
Databases and Indexes
Because criminology crosses so many disciplines biology, chemistry
(physical and organic), medicine, psychology, sociology, anthropology (and
many narrower subjects like zoology, toxicology, et al.) searchers
need to use a variety of relevant databases with full-text, refereed articles
and abstracts. The difficulty lies in the fact that many of these same databases
are available only through subscription and thus limit access to paying subscribers,
often students, faculty, and staff. EBSCOhost, ProQuest, Reed Elsevier,
Wiley, and Kluwer's are a few of the major database producers which have
created and indexed databases of full-text and abstracted articles from the
leading scientific journals. Universities pay thousands of dollars for access
to these databases. Readers may want to visit a local public library or local
state college or university to determine if the public has access to these
databases on campus.
PubMed is the search engine created by National Institutes of Health (NIH)
to search the world's medical literature in the MEDLINE database [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi].
MEDLINE, which has more than 12 million citations from more than 4,600 journals
dating from the mid-1960s, is of vital importance to the field of criminology.
MEDLINE's Medical Subject Heading (MeSH) browser enables researchers to go
directly to the appropriate and related subject headings, in this instance
Criminology, Forensic Medicine, Forensic Psychiatry, Dentistry, or Anthropology.
Combining keywords using the Boolean operators AND, OR, NOT are also possible
in MEDLINE. MEDLINE has a wonderful feature. Whenever you retrieve a series
of records, you'll see to the right of each record a feature called "Related
Articles." Click on Related Articles to pull up additional records comparable
to the original record. MEDLINE contains a very limited number of full-text
articles, but many abstracts.
Scirus [http://www.scirus.com] is a free, science-focused search engine
created by Reed Elsevier and, according to its site, "the most comprehensive
science-specific search engine available on the Internet." The database searches
both free and subscription journal sources. It contains access to more than "135
million science-related pages...as well as 17 million records from sources
such as Science Direct, BioMed Central, MEDLINE, the U.S. Patent and Trademark
Office, Beilstein, et al." I searched the keywords "domestic abuse" through
its Advanced Search screen, which allows one to limit one's search along
a variety of parameters. I limited my search to journal title and exact phrase;
I chose all file formats, which include HTML and PDF formatted documents;
I selected all journal and Web sources; and limited it to the specific subject
areas of law, medicine, neuroscience, psychology, social and behavioral sciences,
and sociology. My search strategy retrieved 291 documents. To the right of
the records appeared a list of keywords to further refine my search. Examples
of these keywords included domestic violence, physical abuse, sexual assault,
battered, and legal advice. When I clicked on legal advice, the search engine
automatically combined legal advice with my first search (i.e., domestic
abuse) and retrieved another 12 records, most of them concerning advice and
resources on domestic abuse from a variety of states and cities across the
U.S. There's a lot here and, again, this is a free search engine.
is a crime-fighting technology solution for law enforcement
agencies that allows local, state, and federal law enforcement
agencies to collect, consolidate, and share information
across all boundaries. According to a Newsweek article,
if COPLINK had been operational during the Washington
sniper tragedy, it would have alerted investigators
to the fact that John Muhammad and Lee Malvo had been
stopped by police at more than one crime scene.7
COPLINK works by allowing vast quantities of structured
and seemingly unrelated data, currently housed in incompatible
computer-based record management systems, to be organized
under a single, highly secure intranet-based platform.
Through sophisticated analytics, COPLINK builds “institutional
memory,” reduces knowledge gaps, helps generate
leads when there are none, and prevents criminals from
falling through the cracks. The system is scaleable,
allowing for the creation of ad hoc regional and national
task forces to address specific criminal activity such
as terrorism and drug trafficking.
Crime prevention is certainly as important as crime detection. And many
of the Web sites described above have resources devoted to programs and studies
on the many ways to prevent crime: from community policing and neighborhood
watch groups to early childhood interventions designed to identify the children
and adolescents most at risk to commit crimes. Here are a few interesting
Web sites that also address crime prevention.
"Diverting Children from a Life of Crime:
Measuring Costs and Benefits" [http://www.rand.org/publications/MR/MR699/]
is a study by the think tank Rand Corporation on the
use of intervention as an effective tool in reducing
crime. The report describes those groups most at risk
and makes recommendations for effective interventions.
It should come as no surprise that "the children of
young, single, poor mothers are at the greatest risk
of engaging in criminal activity." Worth reading.
The National Youth Violence Prevention
Resource Center [http://www.safeyouth.org/home.htm]
is a joint effort of the White House Council on Youth
Violence, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
and other federal agencies to create a Web portal to
government information on preventing youth violence
and other high-risk issues facing children, such as
drugs, gangs, youth suicide, and school violence.
"The School Shooter: A Threat Assessment"
is a report by the FBI's Critical Incident [http://www.privacyrights.org/identity.htm]Response
Group now available on the Internet. It's an effort
by the government to use an assessment and intervention
model that examines the personality, social, family,
and school dynamics to more accurately gauge who is
likely to commit this type of crime.
Workplace Violence [http://www.osha-slc.gov/SLTC/workplaceviolence/]
is an OSHA Web site devoted to this social scourge and
the risk factors and prevention strategies employers
and employees need to know. An extensive list of Web
sites focuses on workplace violence and includes prevention
strategies for high-risk occupations such as taxi drivers
and late-night retail workers.
The National Crime Prevention Council
is an educational nonprofit organization that focuses
on providing individuals, particularly children, and
communities with strategies for preventing crime. Select
"Topics in Crime Prevention" from the home page to retrieve
a range of topic links, such as assault, bullying, domestic
violence, causes of violence, home security, divorce,
animal cruelty, and rudeness. Unfortunately, some offerings
are abstracted and some unavailable except by ordering
from the organization. I clicked on "rudeness" and obtained
an abstract to a free report called "Aggravating Circumstances:
A Status Report on Rudeness in America." Interesting,
but more descriptive than prescriptive. When I selected
"Managing Aggressive Behavior," there was nothing but
the number of the pamphlet for this topic. Apparently,
this must be ordered from the organization. Same with
"Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls."
That would have been interesting to read, if available.
You can also browse by subject and retrieve tip sheets
on 10 ways for students to prevent violence or "50 Strategies
to Prevent Violent Domestic Crimes."
The College and University Crime Statistics
Web site [http://www.securityoncampus.org/crimestats/index.html]
offers crime statistics for approximately 400 colleges
and universities around the country, tracking violent
and property crime including robbery, property theft,
rape, murder, and vehicle theft. It links from the home
Web site of "Security on Campus," an Internet site created
by Connie & Howard Clery in memory of their daughter
Jeanne Anne Clery, who was murdered in her dormitory
room at Lehigh University in 1986. The Web site features
a campus watch newsletter, campus safety tips, and links
to other related Web sites.
Microsoft's SafeKids [http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/safekids/]
Web site was created in collaboration with the Naperville
(Illinois) Police Internet Crimes Unit and the Illinois
Attorney General's Internet Task force "to help parents
and educators teach children the fundamental 'rules
of the road' for safe exploration on the information
highway." Developed by detectives, it comes equipped
with a teacher's training guide and several PowerPoint
Just Say "Search"
There's a staggering amount of information and expertise
in criminology available online and also in
print. The Web represents a profound and important
resource for anyone with Internet access. After reviewing
many Web sites, one is left with the feeling that, without diminishing
our personal responsibility for our deeds, so many
contributing factors to crime
are with us even in the 21st century: poverty, racism, poor parenting,
unequal distribution of economic resources each adding its share
to the cycle of misery and violence the world over. Eliminating those conditions
in society of 200 millions citizens (much less the world) seems an impossible
task. Violence is a survival mechanism from deep in our evolutionary past.
Controlling it, creating legal and social institutions for its acceptable
expression has been a feature of every civilized society. It almost seems
ridiculous to imagine a world without violence. Yet it remains a dream
humankind and kind humans.
100 Web Sites You Didn't Know You Couldn't Live Without,"
PC Magazine, March 25, 2003,Vol. 22, No. 5, pp.
2Oxford Reference Online: A Dictionary Of Sociology
Last accessed 02/24/03.
3 American Academy of Forensic Science: [http://www.aafs.org/].
Last accessed 02/23/03
4 Killoran, Katherine B., "Forensic Science: A Library
Research Guide." Reference Services Review, Winter 1996,Vol. 24, No. 4, pp.
15-30. Not only a concise introduction to the field of forensic science,
but also an excellent primer on the seminal reference texts, journals, and
databases in the subject. See the John Jay College of Criminal Justice [http://www.lib.jjay.cuny.edu/researchnew.html] for a more current list of these resources. Last accessed 02/25/03.
5 Ibid., pp.18-19
6 Ibid., pp.24-25
Seth, "A Google for Cops," Newsweek, March
3, 2003, Vol. 141, p. 9.
Kenneth Fink's e-mail address is email@example.com.