dojscreenshotThe internet offers a wide variety of resources for anyone interested in the field of criminal justice. Some of the best resources for current and potential criminal justice students are maintained by the US government, and we wanted to highlight a few. These .Gov web sites offer tools that can be used when writing papers, researching, or simply trying to learn more about the field and the landscape of criminal justice in the United States today. Lastly, after graduation, these sites can provide professionals with tools that can help them be successful wherever their criminal justice careers may take them.

  1. U.S. Department of Justice — This is the official site for the U.S. Department of Justice, and as such it’s full of all kinds of helpful information. In addition to informative articles covering the latest developments in DOJ cases, they also maintain an active social media presence which is helpful for any students who want to stay even more connected. For upcoming graduates, the careers page offers an excellent opportunity to learn more about what working for the DOJ is like and how to go about getting a career started there. For current students, there are also posts for internships. They even offer tools for those brand new to criminal justice (or those who may need a quick refresher) in the form of their Justice 101 section. Visitors can search a glossery of legal terms, get an overview of the Federal Court System, see steps in the criminal justice process, and more. Their crime reporting section is something that’s helpful to everyone, even those not pursuing a criminal justice education. There’s no doubt that when it comes to .gov sites, the DOJ maintains one of the best.
  2. — Criminal Justice isn’t just about punishing criminals. Much of the field is dedicated to reducing crime, rehabilitating criminals, and coming up with other creative (and effective) solutions to the problems faced by those in the field today. is a research outlet which evaluates those programs to help discover what actually works in criminal justice, juvenile justice, and crime victim services. This site can be tremendously useful for any student who has to write about a specific program’s effectiveness, or possibly even propose a new program. Visitors not only have the option to learn more about specific programs, but they can even nominate a program if they so choose. Efficacy analyses of solutions to criminal justice programs is something anyone in the field should be plugged into.
  3. National Criminal Justice Reference Service — Established in 1972, the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, or NCJRS, is a resource which offers justice and drug-related information in order to help support program development, criminal justice police, and research on a global scale. Their web site serves as an excellent protal to the organization, offering visitors access to publications (where copies can be ordered or searched for in libraries), as well as a virtual library. Additionally, the site boasts interesting Q&A sections with answers to common questions about a range of topics related to drugs, crime, law enforcement, the justice system, and more. Any student would do well to bookmark this site!
  4. Buereau of Justice Statistics — Any seasoned professional in the criminal justice field will know how important statistics are to both understanding and preventing crime. This .gov web site offers a veritable smorgasbord of statistical information for students and professionals to peruse. Whether it’s stats broken down by crime type, victims, law enforcement, courts, or employment and expenditure, the BJS provides it. The site also boasts information on data analysis tools, which is helpful for learning about how to make sense of the numbers. Criminal justice students will often find themselves writing papers where empirical data is needed to support claims. This site can be instrumental in obtaining that data.
  5. National Institute of Justice — The NIJ is the research, development, and evaluation agency of the DOJ. Their focus is on improving knowledge and understanding of crime and justice problems through the use of science. The web site itself offers many different publications (from articles to multimedia) useful for any student wanting to learn more about crime data and criminal justice improvement initiatives. Furthermore, students that may be interested in taking other courses, or professionals interested in brushing up on continuing education, may find their training course listings to be quite helpful.

There are a lot of great .Gov resources out there for criminal justice students and professionals. We’ve highlighted five notable ones, but any student (or potential student) in the field would do well to familiarize themselves with as many of these sites as possible. You never know when sites like these could help you in your educational or professional career!