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Criminal Justice: Statistics

Using Statistics

Statistics are consider primary sources and are great research resources. 

There are 3 primary methods used to measure and collect statistics on the nature and extent of crime.  Each has its benefits and limitations:

  1. Official data derive from crimes known to have occurred that are recorded by law enforcement agencies.  The FBI Uniform Crime Reports is an example of this type of data.
  2. Victim data derive from surveys which ask people about their experience with crime.  This type of data is useful for understanging unreported crimes that do not appear in official data sources.  The BJS National Crime Victimization Survey is the most important source for this data.
  3. Self-report data attempt to assess the true extent of various crime patterns by measuring such things as a person's attitudes, values, personal characteristics or behaviors. The Monitoring the Future Survey is an example of data gathered to understand drug use among juveniles.

Check under the Web Sites tab for more information on critically evaluating a web site for authority, objectivity, currency and coverage value.

    Statistics on the web

    Finding CJ Stats in our Library

    The library has catalogued sources both in our library and available online.

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