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Criminal Justice

Investigate the field of criminal justice in the United States, which involves the investigation of criminal activity and the procedures necessary for the prosecution and conviction of crimes. Criminal justice activities include gathering evidence, arresting suspects, bringing charges, conducting trials, sentencing the convicted, and carrying out punishment.

To this end, the criminal justice system involves law enforcement agencies charged with the prevention of crime and the apprehension of criminal offenders; court bureaucracies charged with determining the innocence or guilt of accused offenders and with the sentencing of convicted criminals; and the network of corrections institutions charged with the control, custody, supervision, and treatment of those convicted of a crime, including probation and parole agencies for when a prisoner is released after serving a sentence. Other important figures are the prosecutor, who makes the case to convict the defendant, and the defense attorney, who makes the case to exonerate the defendant.

Crimes in the United States can be prosecuted in federal, state, or military criminal justice systems. Each state has separate systems for adults and juveniles. Some trials involve juries (a group of citizens specially commissioned to render a verdict), and others are determined by a judge (known as a bench trial).

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Criminal Justice Resources

Gale provides scholarly resources, including criminal justice databasesprimary source archives, and criminal justice eBooks.


Gale databases offer researchers or teachers access to credible, up-to-date criminal justice journal articles for legal research or teaching.

Primary Source Archives

Gale Primary Sources offers criminal justice journal articles and abstracts that provide researchers with firsthand content.

Gale eBooks

Gale offers a variety of law eBooks covering a wide range of topics, including criminology, legislative history, and more. Users can add Gale eBooks to a customized collection and cross-search to pinpoint the article most relevant to the topic. Workflow tools help users easily share, save, and download content.

  • The Criminal Justice System, 2nd Edition

    The Criminal Justice System, 2nd Edition

    Salem Press | 2017 | ISBN-13: 9781682173114

    Covers the most important aspects of criminal justice in the United States. It details the commission and frequency of crimes through the investigation, apprehension, prosecution, and punishment of wrongdoers.

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  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans People (LGBT) and the Criminal Justice System, 1st Edition

    Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans People (LGBT) and the Criminal Justice System, 1st Edition

    Palgrave MacMillan | 2016 | ISBN-13: 9781137496980

    This book explores the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans (LGBT) communities as victims, offenders, and staff within the criminal justice system. It draws on both emerging and existing LGBT research and campaigns to identify and explore issues relevant to the criminal justice system, including criminal justice agencies, victimization, domestic violence and abuse, transgender experiences, LGBT people as offenders, international perspectives, and personal experiences of LGBT people. The authors trace the legislative journey toward equal treatment before and after the Wolfenden Report. They consider the overrepresentation of lesbians on death row in the United States, how the prosecution characterizes them, and how homophobia affects offending and sentencing. They raise important questions about same-sex domestic violence and abuse and how the system delivers justice to trans people; consider sodomy laws and treatment of LGBT people worldwide; and offer models of good practice.

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  • Routledge International Handbook of Green Criminology, 1st Edition

    Routledge International Handbook of Green Criminology, 1st Edition

    Routledge, Chapman & Hall Ltd | 2013 | ISBN-13: 9781317809005

    Academic and general interest in environmental crimes, harms, and threats, as well as in environmental legislation and regulation, has grown sharply in recent years. The Routledge International Handbook of Green Criminology is the most in-depth and comprehensive volume on these issues to date. With examples of environmental crimes, harms, and threats from Africa, Asia, Australia, Eastern Europe, South America, the United Kingdom, and the United States, this book will serve as a vital resource for international scholars and students in criminology, sociology, law and socio-legal studies, as well as environmental science, environmental studies, politics, and international relations.

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