Criminal Justice Subject Guide

CJ Searching has librarian-recommended search tips to help you make the most of your research time.

Step 1: choose an area of interest

  • deinstitutionalization
  • probation
  • restorative justice
  • offenders
  • ex-offenders
  • parole
  • rehabilitation
  • community-based corrections
  • victim’s rights
  • public safety
  • substance abuse
  • mental illness
  • race or ethnicity
  • gender
  • economics

​Step 2: Combine Keywords

Adding AND narrows a topic

  • Reentry AND Employment
  • Recidivism AND Drugs AND Offenders
  • Female Offenders AND Parole AND Mississippi
  • Health Care AND Prisoners

Adding OR in (parentheses) broadens a topic

  • Reentry OR Re-Entry
  • ​Women AND (Probation OR Parole)
  • (Juveniles OR Youth) AND Sentencing
  • Teenagers AND Murder AND (Sentencing OR Sentences)

Step 3: Use Library Search Conventions

  • Capitalization generally does not matter
  • Spelling counts!
  • Modify your search if needed
  • Try the same search in a different database

Use "quotations marks" keeps words together

(Prison and Visitation) OR  “prison visits”
"New York City"
"Death penalty"
"Death penalty" and "race relations"