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John Jay College of Criminal Justice
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Lloyd Sealy Library

John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Two Encyclopedias of Criminology and Criminal Justice

From the Spring 2015 Newsletter

Librarians never underestimate the power of encyclopedias. They are invaluable sources for the students who are in the beginning stage of their research and are looking for an overview of a subject, background information of an issue, key dates, ideas or persons in a particular subject area. The Library strives to keep its collection of encyclopedias current and makes regular updates in the holdings to stay comprehensive, especially in the field of criminal justice. Last year, the Library acquired two encyclopedias and both are called Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice. It is not rare that an encyclopedia title would have a “twin,” but it is rare that two books with the same title would be published in the same year. Both encyclopedias are geared towards academic libraries. 

The print Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice was published by Wiley and edited by Jay S. Albanese, a celebrated authority on criminology and criminal justice and the former head of the International Center at the National Institute of Justice. In addition to a world-renowned editor-in-chief, the 540 entries in 5 volumes are authored by experts from ten countries and peer-reviewed by 14 associate editors. The entries are arranged alphabetically and range from 2,000 to 5,000 words in length. They cover history, current state, and future directions of a topic; many include interdisciplinary approaches. There is also an extensive section on international crime and comparative crime and justice issues. The contents are listed in three ways: by 15 major categories (for example, Corrections and Sentencing, Courts and Adjudication, Law Enforcement and Policing, Types of Crime, Victimization, etc.), then alphabetically by topics, and also by keywords. All entries are cross-referenced so that readers can locate entries on related topics. Each chapter ends with references and suggestions for further readings. Wiley is planning to publish more encyclopedias on the general topic of criminology, with future titles covering juvenile justice, crime and punishment, and criminology theory.

The other Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice was published by Springer and co-edited by Gerben Bruinsma and David Weisburd. Available in electronic format, this work comprises 10 volumes and its contents were overseen by two editors-in-chief in consultation with 12 associate editors and more than 180 area editors who are “often the originators of theories, practices, or methods.” This work covers ten broad areas, including Corrections and Criminal Justice Supervision in the Community, Explanations for Criminal Behavior, Data, Methods, and Statistics, Crime Places and Situations. Fields related to criminology, such as police science, forensics, and certain areas of psychology are covered in 579 entries. Many entries not only outline basic chronology of an issue but also hint at the future developments or questions that might be asked. The entries are arranged in alphabetical order; all of them are cross-referenced. 

Please ask your students to use both encyclopedias for comparison.

Maria Kiriakova

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