Criminal Justice Issues and the Obama Administration
There are a lot of great resources on the Obama administration and its policy positions regarding criminal justice issues. Much of this criminal justice policy information is readily available online on websites and in journals and newspapers. A number of databases are useful for criminal justice policy research. Together these resources will help you gain a better understanding of how this presidential administration has shaped today’s criminal justice system.
The Department of Justice has a comprehensive website with the latest criminal justice information. The DOJ Criminal Division specifically focuses on federal criminal law in the United States. The division implements several programs to educate the public on issues such as human rights, fraud, and child exploitation. The priorities of the Department of Justice can be seen in their strategic plans and budget documents. One priority of the Obama administration is to fight terrorism. There is information on the web with Department of Justice initiatives on terrorism, and Homeland Security Department initiatives.
Attorney General Eric Holder is both a cabinet member and the highest law enforcement officer of the federal government. His actions and decisions influence the criminal justice system and reflect the Obama administration’s positions on policies. Selected publications of the Attorney General can be accessed online. Also available online are President Obama’s speeches. All of his speeches are displayed--the most recent listed first. This is a great way to stay up-to-date on his administration’s most pressing issues.
The University Libraries have a guide which provides a list of United States Government agencies involved in the criminal justice process. Also, the Justice Policy Institute is a non-profit organization that focuses on justice policies and reform. The website has policy news and updates on its front page—for federal, state and local policy.
The University Libraries have extensive resources on the Obama administration and the criminal justice system. Our databases, Criminal Justice Abstracts with Full Text, Criminal Justice Periodicals Index, PAIS (on public policy generally), and Academic Search Complete, provide access to scholarly articles related to the criminal justice system and the Obama administration. Our online access for the New York Times provides articles and analyses on this subject. (The New York Times is available online at their website , but for fuller coverage see LexisNexis database.)
When searching databases the subject headings criminal justice and criminal justice administration both generate relevant results. Consider narrower terms like drug policy or sentencing and combine them with Obama for more targeted searches. Dick Irving, the Public Affairs subject specialist at Dewey Library, created a nice Guide to Federal Public Policy Research. Here he lists publications like CQ Researcher and National Journal that specialize in policy articles.
Questions? Come to the Dewey Library reference desk or contact our criminal justice librarian, Mary Jane Brustman, by email: email@example.com or call 442-3540.
Blog post created by Katherine Farrell