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Criminal Justice & Sociology (Penn State Berks)

Welcome to the library guide for criminal justice and sociology students at Penn State Berks!

Government Publications, Laws, & Court Cases

decorative onlyOne easy way to find government publications on a topic is by limited to web sites with gov in their web addresses.   We can do that in Google with the site:gov command:

juvenile diversion programs site:gov


Government Reports

Homeland Security Digital Library--"nation's premier tool for homeland security policy and strategy research. The collection includes homeland security strategy, policy and research documents published by: Federal, state and local government agencies; International governments and institutions; and Research institutions, universities, think tanks."

National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS)--" summaries of more than 150,000 publications on criminal justice, including Federal, state, and local government reports, books, research reports, journal articles, and unpublished research. Subject areas include corrections, courts, drugs and crime, law enforcement, juvenile justice, crime statistics, and victims of crime."




Scales of justiceThere are three basic types of laws: statutes, regulations, and court cases (case law). 

Here are some databases with U.S. and PA laws and cases. 

For citation examples, please see A Brief Guide to Legal Citations in APA Style.



🏛  Statutes

Statutes are primary legal sources.  Statutes are laws enacted by Congress or the state legislatures.  A collection of statutes is sometimes referred to as a code.

Federal Statutes

State Statutes

✔  Regulations

Administrative regulations are primary legal sources.  Administrative regulations are laws created by an executive branch agency or department such as the EPA, ATF, FCC, or FAA.

⚖ Court Cases

Court cases (case law) are primary legal sources.  Case laws are generated by the application of general laws to specific court cases. 

Power Search Tip: If you are not able to find the case, try Googling your case and identifying the citation.  Then, type the citation into Nexis Uni.

Law Reviews

Law reviews are secondary legal sources. They are scholarly legal journal articles that analyze the law.

Try searching the resources below for law reviews:

CJ Videos

video-icon by Farmeral


 Instruments (surveys, tests, quizzes) can be hard to find because they are often not included in CJ articles and books.  You can start by searching in  PsycTests.  You can also search in CJ article databases with keywords like instrument, survey, test, questionnaire, inventory.

monitor showing a sample survey


Power Search Tips: You can also search for data in article databases by typing in keywords like statistics, rate, frequency, quantitative.