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Criminology and Criminal Justice Research: Organization - Research Tools

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A variety of research tools are available to individuals interested in studying criminological and criminal justice issues. Located at the University of Michigan, the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) is a membership-based, not-for-profit organization serving member colleges and universities in the United States and abroad. ICPSR provides access to the world's largest archive of computerized social science data, training facilities for the study of quantitative social analysis techniques, and resources for social scientists using advanced computer technologies. Currently, ICPSR supports five topic data archives: health and medical care archive, international archive of education data, national archive of computerized data on aging, substance abuse and mental health data archive, and the national archive of criminal justice data (NACJD). For those interested in the study of crime, the NACJD contains over five hundred data collections on a variety of issues related to criminology and criminal justice. For many of the data sets supported at ICPSR, users can download data, codebooks, and oftentimes the SAS and SPSS syntax statements to create ready-to-analyze data sets.

Information on criminological and criminal justice issues can be obtained primarily through two sources: agency clearinghouses, and academic journals, book, and serials. Federal agencies involved in the study of crime, primarily OJP, deposit their research reports and research briefings with the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS). This service, accessible via the Internet, phone, or fax-on-demand, provides individuals with information on an array of criminal justice topics including issues related to the police, courts, corrections, and crime statistics. Each year BJS distributes, via NCJRS, the SourceBook on criminal justice statistics that contains a wealth of information on the justice system, as well as topical reports in Crime Victimization, Capital Punishment, and Recidivism. The other avenue for research information and dissemination occurs through academic outlets. A variety of journals publish topics regularly on issues related to criminology and criminal justice, including: Criminology, Justice Quarterly, Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, Journal of Criminal Justice, Journal of Quantitative Criminology, Justice Research and Policy, Journal of Criminal Justice Education, Journal of Crime and Justice, Violence and Victims, Prison Journal, Journal of Drug Issues, British Journal of Criminology, Canadian Journal of Criminology, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, Studies on Crime and Crime Prevention, Development and Psychopathology, Deviant Behavior, Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Crime and Delinquency, Journal of Adolescent Research, Journal of Research on Adolescence, Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Psychological Bulletin, Psychological Review, Theoretical Criminology, Youth and Society, Criminal Justice, Criminal Justice Policy Review, Criminal Justice and Behavior, Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health, American Sociological Review, Western Criminological Review, American Journal of Criminal Justice, Homicide Studies, Social Forces, Social Science Quarterly, American Journal of Sociology, Psychology, Crime and Law, Policing, Police Quarterly, Federal Probation, Law and Human Behavior, and a number of law school journals. In addition to academic journals, a number of different serials contain information on criminological and criminal justice issues. Three of the most popular serials include: Crime and Justice: An Annual Review of Research, Advances in Criminological Theory, and Sociology of Crime, Law, and Deviance. The first of these serials, Crime and Justice, publishes lengthy, review articles on a variety of crime-related topics, with a slight emphasis on issues related to criminal justice. Advances in Criminological Theory publishes theoretical and empirical articles on criminological theory, while the Sociology of Crime, Law, and Deviance publishes articles of criminological interest from a sociological perspective. Finally, academic books continue to operate as important sources of research information. Many of the large academic presses, such as University of Chicago Press, Northeastern University Press, Cambridge University Press, Sage Publications, and Plenum Press, publish books related to crime issues on a regular basis.

In addition to these publication outlets, the field of criminology and criminal justice has two professional organizations: American Society of Criminology (ASC) and the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). ASC is an international organization concerned with criminology, embracing scholarly, scientific, and professional knowledge concerning the etiology, prevention, control, and treatment of crime and delinquency. This includes the measurement and detection of crime, legislation and practice of criminal law, as well as the law enforcement, judicial, and correctional systems. The society's objective is to bring together a multidisciplinary forum fostering criminology study, research, and education. Its members include practitioners, academicians, and students in the many fields of criminal justice. ASC also conducts annual meetings for its membership, each devoted to a discussion of a particular topic of general interest. In addition, members of ASC receive the journal Criminology, published four times a year, and the Criminologist, a newsletter published six times per year. There are four specialized divisions in ASC: critical criminology, women and crime, international criminology, and people of color and crime. Each distributes newsletters and announcements on a regular basis. The Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences is an international organization established in 1963 to foster professional and scholarly activities in the field of criminal justice. ACJS is comprised of a number of scholars and practitioners that are international in scope and multidisciplinary in orientation. In addition to its annual conference, ACJS oversees publication of two academic journals: Justice Quarterly and the Journal of Criminal Justice Education. Unlike ASC, ACJS also has regional organizations that come together once a year for meetings and information dissemination. These regional organizations include the Western, Southern, Mid-Western, and Northeastern Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. These regional organizations also sponsor several academic journals, including: Western Criminological Review (Western), Criminal Justice Policy Review (Northeastern), Journal of Crime and Justice (Midwestern), and the American Journal of Criminal Justice (Southeastern). In addition to these main criminological associations, other disciplines have annual meetings and sponsor academic journals that have substantive import for criminologists. These include the American Sociological Association, the American Psychological Association, Society for Research on Adolescence, and the Southern Sociological Society.

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