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Lloyd Sealy Library
John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice

Reference Materials: Encyclopedias, Handbooks, etc.

Reference materials are a good way to begin your research:








  • Helps to brainstorm for topic ideas
  • Provides a topic overview
  • Helps with formulating your topic (how to think about your topic)
  • Heading provide different ways to break down your topic (relevant issues)
  • Uses topic specific vocabulary/terms (use when searching for additional sources) 
  • Provides a bibliography leading to additional relevant books and/or articles

Online Reference Sources

Books with Computer Mouse attached

Our Library has access to a wide variety of criminal justice and social science encyclopedias as well as other reference sources which provide a broad overview of criminal justice topics.

Enter your key words (s) or phrase(s) in the search box OR browse the List of Entries or Subject Index of a particular encyclopedia to find information on your topic.  For example:

women offenders

hate crimes

workplace violence


General Encyclopedias and Reference Sources:

Gale eBooks (formerly Gale Virtual Reference Library)

International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences

Oxford Reference Online

Sage Knowledge Collection

Very Short Introductions


Criminal Justice Encyclopedias and Reference Sources:

21st Century Criminology: A Reference Handbook, 2009

Annual Review of Criminology

Crime and Punishment Around the World, 2010

Crime and Punishment in the United States, 2008

Crime, Prisons, and Jails, 2015

Encyclopedia of Crime and Justice, 2002

Encyclopedia of Crime and Punishment  (Vols. 1-4), 2002

Encyclopedia of Criminal Justice Ethics. 2014

Encyclopedia of Criminological Theory, 2010

Encyclopedia of Criminology, 1949

Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice, 2014

Encyclopedia of Gangs, 2008

Encyclopedia of Juvenile Justice, 2003

Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement (Vols. 1-3), 2004

Encyclopedia of Prisons & Correctional Facilities, (Vols. 1-2), 2005

Encyclopedia of Race and Crime, 2009

Encyclopedia of Rural Crime, 2022

Encyclopedia of Terrorism, 2012

Encyclopedia of White-Collar & Corporate Crime, (Vols. 1-2), 2013

Corrections, 2011

Oxford Bibliographies--Criminology

Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Criminal Justice

Routledge Handbook of Deviant Behavior, 2011

The SAGE Encyclopedia of Criminal Psychology, 2019

The SAGE Handbook of Criminological Theory, 2010 

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, 2nd edition, (Vols. 1-13), 2004

World Encyclopedia of Police Forces and Correctional Systems, 2nd edition, 2006

Print Encyclopedias and Handbooks

These subject specific print encyclopedias are available in the Reference section of the Lloyd Sealy Library (on the 2nd Floor of the Library either in the reference stacks or behind the Reference Desk):

Albanese, J.S. (Ed.). (2014).  The encyclopedia of criminology and criminal justice. Wiley. 

Reference HV 6017 .E5297 2014 Vols. 1-5

Bryant, C.D. (Ed.). (2001). Encyclopedia of criminology and deviant behavior. Brunner-Routledge. 

Reference HV 6017 .E53 2001 Vols. 1-4

Das, D.K., & Palmiotto, M. (Eds.). (2006). World police encyclopedia. Routledge. 

Reference Desk HV7901 .W64 2006 Vols. 1-2

Liebling, A., Maruna, S., & McAra, L. (2017). The Oxford handbook of criminology.  Oxford University Press.  Stacks  HV6025 .O87 2017

Sullivan. L. (Ed.). (2005). Encyclopedia of law enforcement. Sage Publications. 

Reference HV 7921 .E53 2005 Vols. 1-3