Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Resources
This page provides links to some of the top Internet-based resources primarily in U.S. criminal law and criminal justice, but is by no means exhaustive. In some instances, print resources available in the Pritzker Legal Research Center will be more suitable than those listed here. Northwestern University School of Law students are especially encouraged to visit or call (312-503-8450) our Reference Desk for help with criminal law or criminal justice-related research questions. If your research focuses on international criminal law, please visit our International Criminal Law/War Crimes/Genocide web page.
Court and Administrative Decisions
- BNA Criminal Law Reporter . Issued weekly, this publication includes "precedent-setting state and federal court decisions at all levels, significant legislative action in Congress, and reports and proposals of the Justice Department, associations and commissions."
- LexisONE. A free site for searching for opinions issued by the U.S. Supreme Court (1790 to present), U.S. Circuit Courts (1997 to present), and numerous state appellate courts (1997 to present). Searches are free, but you are required to register in order to use the service.
- Supreme Court Archive (Cornell's Legal Information Institute). Search the archive for the word "criminal" or related terms. Archive includes all decisions since 1990, and selected decisions issued between 1789 and 1989.
- Illinois Supreme Court and Appellate Court Opinions. Search the database of slip opinions issued since 1996.
Regulations and Guidelines
Organizations and Governmental Agencies
- American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section
- Death Penalty Information Center. "A non-profit organization serving the media and the public with analysis and information on issues concerning capital punishment."
- Federal Justice Statistics Resource Center. The Center "maintains the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) Federal Justice Statistics Program (FJSP) database, which contains information about suspects and defendants processed in the Federal criminal justice system."
- International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice Policy. An "independent, non-profit institute formally affiliated with the United Nations." Its "objectives are to contribute to international criminal justice policy development through analysis, research and consultation, and to provide technical assistance to implement international policy and standards."
- Justice Technology Information Network (JUSTNET). Serves as a gateway to the products and services of the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC), which provides law enforcement, corrections, and court professionals with information on technology used in law enforcement and corrections.
- National Association of Attorneys General. Promotes "cooperation, coordination, and communication among the states' chief legal officers."
- National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. "[T]he preeminent organization in the United States advancing the mission of the nation's criminal defense lawyers to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or other misconduct."
- National Criminal Justice Association. "Washington, D.C.-based special interest group that represents states on crime control and public safety matters."
- Victim Assistance Online. "An information, research and networking resource for victim assistance specialists, professionals in related disciplines and all interested in the field of victimology." From Victim-Assistance Online Resources, an Ontario non-profit corporation.
This list includes journals available completely or partially in electronic form. It does not represent a complete listing of journals covering criminal law and criminal justice topics.
- Buffalo Criminal Law Center: Criminal Law Resources on the Internet. Online access to criminal codes, criminal procedure codes, and enforcement codes from U.S. states and from countries throughout the world.
- Crime and Justice Electronic Data Abstracts. From the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Contains "aggregated data from a wide variety of published sources that are presented in spreadsheets to facilitate use with analytic software."
- Death Penalty Worldwide. Northwestern University School of Law, Center for International Human Rights. This website, created by Prof. Sandra Babcock of Northwestern University School of Law, in partnership with the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, features the Death Penalty Database of information on the application of the death penalty in countries that retain it.
- Federal Sentencing Statistics by State. From the U.S. Sentencing Commission.
- FindLaw: Criminal Law. Gateway to laws, journals, mailing lists, government agencies, and other information on criminal law.
- Hieros Gamos: Guide to Criminal Law. Gateway to information on supranational organizations, national regimes, discussion groups, publications, and other resources.
- Homicide in Chicago 1870-1930 - Includes a searchable database drawn from original handwritten police records of over 11,000 homicides committed in the city of Chicago between 1870 and 1930. Also includes background and contextual information.
- National Archive of Criminal Justice Data. "A branch of the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) at the University of Michigan, NACJD acquires, archives, processes, and provides access to computer-readable criminal justice data collections for research and instruction. The NACJD web site provides downloadable access to over 550 criminal justice data collections free of charge."
- NCJRS Abstracts Database. From the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, the searchable database "contains summaries of more than 150,000 criminal justice publications,including Federal, State, and local government reports, books, research reports, journal articles, and unpublished research. Some of the publications are available full-text."
- Penal Law: A Web. Information about American criminal and penal law, by Professor Markus Dirk Dubber of the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law.
- Proceedings of the Old Bailey. A "fully searchable online edition ... containing accounts of over 100,000 criminal trials held at London's central criminal court" between 1674 and 1834.
- Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics Online. From the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics
- Uniform Crime Reports. Provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
- NUcat. To search for books and other materials in the Northwestern University libraries.