by BU Libraries
Last Updated Aug 28, 2023
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About Criminal Justice Data & Statistics
This guide provides links to selected sources of data and statistics for Criminal Justice. Suggestions for additional data categories or for data, data sets, or statistics that may have been missed would be appreciated.
coverage. This brief explains why the FBI data is an inconclusive measure of crime in the United States and presents analysis of an additional, less-discussed source of crime data: the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS).
Using Open Web-based Crime Data for Research: A Word of Caution - Research Note." International Journal of Social Research Methodology 24, no. 6 (2021): 767-73.In the digital age, where every click, purchase, or activity is systematically recorded, it is surprising to discover how difficult it still is to assemble crime data. This paper describes available web-based crime mapping services and discusses some of the key advantages and disadvantages of using this source for both general purposes and scholarly endeavors. Using a research project on crime occurring around train stations as a case study, we illustrate the pitfalls of relying on web-based services compared to requesting crime information directly from law enforcement agencies. We conclude with a few cautionary remarks regarding the use of data services that purport to offer an assemblage of crime data drawn from different jurisdictions.
After a decade’s worth of data collection and engagement with county agencies and state courts, it’s become abundantly clear to us that willing and motivated communities simply do not have enough access to their own data to start making sense of what’s happening in their local criminal justice systems. In some cases, the data aren’t there—no one collects them. In other cases, the data are there but are protected by law or administrative discre- tion. Finally, the data are sometimes just too incomplete or messy to use—missing data fields, inconsistent taxonomies, or, sadly, handwriting no one can read.