Library News Blog

We have purchased an outstanding collection of streaming video content in which criminologists describe their research in a way that is accessible to undergraduates. We have Meda Chesney-Lind talking about feminist criminology and abortion law, Robert Agnew on general strain theory, Joan Petersilia, Terrie Moffitt and many other active researchers describing their work, and other core criminal justice ideas. Students can see and hear e.g. a forensic anthropologist explaining how she identifies victims at mass crime scenes. Racial disparities, crime mapping, research methods, transnational crime, and the criminal investigation process are some of the many topics covered. Some films take us inside forensics labs, correctional facilities, and court rooms. Others show case studies, and/or connect research to policy and practice. In a few of the shorter clips, people working within the criminal justice system talk about their careers.

We hope these virtual guest speakers will be memorable for students, and help them see connections between what they are learning and the practice of research.

The collection consists of over 120 hours of film, with lectures from the University of Essex, documentaries from Passion River, the BBC, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Intelecom Learning, Twofour Tights, and interviews with researchers created by OHCP. All videos are tagged with a type label; lecture, tutorial, interview, documentary, video case, in practice, or key note. Each video and video segment in the collection has been assigned a persistent URL. Users can create their own clips with unique URLs for sharing with students via Blackboard, email, etc. Rolling text transcripts accompany each video. The videos are housed on the Sage Knowledge platform, which also includes reference book content from Sage and CQ Press. Users can conduct a single search across the platform to discover both video and text content; and some cross linking connects the two. We have purchased access to the collection in perpetuity.

Show a clip during class time, or assign as homework to reinforce the concepts introduced during the day! Flip the classroom and assign a video for students to watch at home before a class discussion or exercise. Or challenge students to find a relevant clip or screenshot to embed in their e-portfolio, PowerPoint or Prezi presentation.



Please see our Media guide for more about the Library's collections of documentaries, feature films, training films, and more, in streaming and DVD formats. Please contact the librarian responsible for media, Ellen Sexton, with questions, comments, acquisition suggestions.

By Ellen Belcher

scanned book

Image: Double page spread of Souvenir Photo Album of the Rouckavishnikov Correctional Institution for Young Offenders. Showing young offenders with equipment for shoe-making and black-smithing.

Criminal justice, broadly defined

The Special Collections has recently acquired a number of new pamphlets and other publications, following our mission to collect broadly and deeply on the topic of criminal justice, broadly defined. The selected titles listed below (organized by date of publication) illustrate very well how broadly criminal justice is defined in our collecting. Many of them record divergent opinions of the causes and solutions for criminal behavior; others record grisly crimes and murders (see image below). We acquired an early publication on fire suppression, as well as a few titles on reform and rehabilitation of juvenile offenders (see image above). All of these are available in our Special Collections Room by appointment, and some of them are available digitally on various platforms. Contact us at to read any of these.

scanned book

Image: Life and confession of Reuben A. Dunbar, convicted and executed for the murder of Stephen V. and David L. Lester (aged 8 and 10 years). Page 24.

1564, Pius IV (Pope). A papal brief on homicide [in Latin]

1784, Edinburgh. Young. Observations upon fire: with a view to the best and most expeditious methods of extinguishing it, upon a new plan, with or without water.

1808, London(?). A comparative statement of the number of criminal offenders committed to several gaols in England and Wales…

1842, Boston. Sue(?) Fialto, or The chain of crime: a tale of guilt and passion. PQ2446 .M32 1843

1847, London. Neilson. Statistics of crime in England and Wales for the years 1834–1844.

1851, Albany. Life and confession of Reuben A. Dunbar, convicted and executed for the murder of Stephen V. and David L. Lester, (aged 8 and 10 years,) in Westerlo, Albany County, September 20, 1850. See image at right.

1853, Philadelphia. Opinion of Horace Binney, Esq., upon the jurisdiction of the coroner. KFP526 .C65 B565 1853

1858, London. Reformatories and ragged schools: Their comparative economy: A paper read Thursday, October 13, 1858.

1870, New York. The Third Annual Report of the Midnight Mission.

1871, Tallack. Humanity and humanitarianism: with special reference to the prison systems of Great Britain and the United States, the question of criminal lunacy, and capital punishment. HV8982 .T3

1876, Tatlock. The church’s duty in reference to the criminal classes: a sermon preached in St. John’s Church, Stamford, in aid of the Stamford Association Auxiliary to the Prisoners Friends’ Corporation of Connecticut. BV4464.7 .T38 1876

1886, Boston. Stetson. Literacy and crime in Massachusetts; and, the necessity for moral and industrial training in the public schools. HV6166 .S74 1886

1890, Moscow. Photographie Française. Souvenir de la Visite de Mrs les Members de IV Congrès Pénitentiaire International de St. Petersbourg, Asile Urbain Roukavichnikoff á Moscou. [Souvenir Photo Album of the Rouckavishnikov Correctional Institution for Young Offenders. Distributed at the IV Congrès Pénitentiaire International, St. Petersburg] See image at top of page

1900, Gettysburg, PA. How to Hypnotize in Court and Jury-Memory Systems-Fluency of Mind, Tongue and Pen.

1908, London. Hollander. Crime and responsibility: Presidential address delivered before the Ethological Society. HV6028 .H64 1908

1916, Stearns. What recent investigations have shown to be the relation between mental defect and crime.

1924, Chicago. Yarrow. William Hale Thompson and certain stag party. HQ146 .C4 Y37 1924


Ellen Belcher

Read more from the Spring 2017 issue of Classified Information, the Library's newsletter

By Karen Okamoto

grant forward screen shot

GrantForward is an extensive database of funding opportunities from over 9000 sponsors including government, foundations, academic institutions and corporations. The Library’s one year subscription to GrantForward provided by CUNY Central, valid until the end of 2017, allows you to search for opportunities and save them in a personal account or profile. New users must use their John Jay email address to register for a free institutional account. By registering for an account, you can save your grant searches and create alerts for new funding opportunities. Once you create your profile, GrantForward will suggest funding sources that match your areas of research. You can manually enter your research areas into your profile or you can upload a CV or list a webpage containing your publications and GrantForward will automatically generate a list of recommended funding opportunities. As an added social media-type feature, you can conduct a profile search to find other researchers registered with GrantForward who share similar research interests.

grant forward distribution: mostly federal and state funding, followed by foundation

GrantForward provides advanced search filters to help narrow your results, and offers tools to manage and organize your findings. Advanced search filters include deadlines for grants, grant type (e.g., training or research purposes), and funding amounts. Funding information can be downloaded onto your computer, shared with others, and saved in your GrantForward account which neatly organizes your saved grants according to deadlines.

For instructional tutorials and webinar recordings on how to use this database, visit GrantForward’s YouTube page. Be sure to use GrantForward before the trial expires at the end of 2017.

Karen Okamoto

Read more from the Spring 2017 issue of Classified Information, the Library's newsletter

By Maureen Richards

In academia, you get access to many­—often hundreds—of scholarly databases. They seem to be free because they are free to you. Most often, they are not. The academy pays for them. Outside of academia, what are your options? Are you limited to open web resources?

For John Jay students and faculty, and everyone else who lives, works or attends school in New York City, you can also get access to scholarly and other types of databases through the New York Public Library (NYPL), the world’s largest public library system. Currently, the NYPL provides access to over 800 databases.

NYPL has four scholarly research centers and almost 100 neighborhood branches. Everyone at John Jay is eligible for, and should consider obtaining, a NYPL card. For those who prefer to access information 24/7, the vast majority of the NYPL databases are now available remotely. (John Jay community members may also have access to the Brooklyn and Queens public library systems, which also offer remote database access.)

As shown in the graphs below, the majority (322) of the databases that NYPL lists for researchers are freely available to anyone with an Internet connection. An additional 240 online databases are proprietary and only available to NYPL library card holders, bringing the total number of databases available offsite and online to 568!

all NYPL electronic databases: a third available remotely with library card, a third available on-site, and a third freely available online

NYPL databases available from home with library card: most are newspapers

The NYPL databases provide content that is as diverse as New York City, covering a full range of ages and interests. In addition to the well known NYPL research centers, an academic user with a NYPL library card can now get remote access to a broad range of many academic sources including Academic Search Premier, Archives of Human Sexuality and Identity, the Economist Historical Archive, Literature Resource Center, Project Muse, the full archive of the New Yorker, a plethora of reference titles from Oxford and other publishers including the Oxford English Dictionary, among many other academic titles.

If you are interested in improving your technical, business and creative skills, that same library card gets you remote access to and to Mango Languages, the easy-to-use foreign language database. Flipster, the popular magazine database, is available too—and from home—provided you have a NYPL library card.

Next time you think about library resources, think about public libraries, too. If our goal is to encourage lifelong learning, we should be doing whatever we can to deepen connections to public library resources that will be available for a lifetime.


Read more from the Spring 2017 issue of Classified Information, the Library's newsletter


From the collections development corner • By Maria Kiriakova

Librarians are known for their trait to organize information by any imaginable way: call numbers, alphabetical and subject lists, electronic and print format, reference and reserve, and many more.

Below is a small bag of mixed resources (monographic and video) recently acquired by the Lloyd G. Sealy Library on the topic of Latina/Latinos (Latinx).

Faculty highlights

book coverMorín, J. (Ed.). (2016). Latinos and Criminal Justice: An Encyclopedia. Greenwood. Reserve HV 6791. L38 2016.

This encyclopedia, edited by José Luis Morín, was selected by Library Journal as one of the Best Reference Titles of 2016. At John Jay, Professor Morín is the Coordinator of the Latin American and Latinx Studies Major and Minor and is the Associate Director of the Ronald H. Brown Law School Prep Program.

book coverOboler, S. & González, D. (Eds.). (2015). The Oxford Encyclopedia of Latinos and Latinas in Contemporary Politics, Law, and Social Movements. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Reserve E184 .S75 O969 2015.

The Library’s copy of this encyclopedia is a gift from Professor Suzanne Oboler, Professor of Latin American and Latinx Studies at John Jay. She is Founding Editor of the academic journal Latino Studies (2002-2012).


Acosta, F. & Ramos, H. (2016). Latino Young Men and Boys In Search of Justice: Testimonies. Houston,TX: Arte Public Press. Ebook.

Barrington, R. (2015). Sonia Sotomayor: The Supreme Court’s First Hispanic Justice. New York: Britannica Educational Publishing. Ebook.

Behnken, B. (Ed.). (2016). Civil Rights and Beyond: African/American and Latino/a Activism in the Twentieth-Century United States. Athens: The University of Georgia Press.
Stacks E 185.61. C5916 2016

Belton, D. & Fritz, S. (2014). The Latino Americans Collection: New Latinos [6 films]. PBS. Kanopy streaming video.

Biscupic, J. (2014). Breaking In: The Rise of Sonya Sotomayor and the Politics of Justice. New York: Sarah Crichton Books, Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Stacks KF 8745. S67 B57 2014

Bratina, M. (2013). Acculturation and Attitudes Toward Violence Among Latinos. El Paso: LFB Scholarly Publishing. Ebook.

Brotherton, D. (2004). The Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation: Street Politics and the Transformation of a New York City Gang. New York: Columbia University Press. Reserve and Stacks HV 6439. U7 N432 2004

Caminero-Santangelo, M. (2016). Documenting the Undocumented: Latino/a Narratives and Social Justice in the Era of Operation Gatekeeper. Gainesville: University Press of Florida. Ebook.

Delgado. R., Perea J. & Stefancic, J. (Eds.). (2008). Latinos and the Law: Cases and Materials. St. Paul, MN: Thomson/West. Reference Law KF4757. 5. L 38 D45 2008

Delgado, R. & Stefancic, J. (Eds.). (2011). The Latino/a Condition: A Critical Reader, 2nd ed. New York: New York University Press. Reserve E 184. S75 L355 2011

Flores, E. (2013). God’s Gangs: Barrio Ministry, Masculinity, and Gang Recovery. New York University Press. Ebook.

Flores, J. (2016). Caught Up: Girls, Surveillance, and Wraparound Incarceration. Oakland, CA: University of California Press. Stacks HV 6046. F55 2016

Freeman, M. & Martinez, M. (Eds.). (2015). College Completion for Latino/a Students: Institutional and System Approaches. San Francisco: Josey-Bass. Stacks LB 2300. N4 no.172

Garland, S. (2009). Gangs in Garden City: How Immigration, Segregation, And Youth Violence Are Changing America’s Suburbs. New York: Nation Books. Stacks HV 6439. U7 G374 2009 and ebook.

Glynn, D. (2013). In The Shadows. Broadbandaid Films. Streaming video.

Hagedorn, J. (2015). The In$ane Chicago Way: The Daring Plan by Chicago Gangs to Create a Spanish Mafia. University of Chicago Press. Stacks HV 6439. U7 C355 2015

Lusk, M., Staudt, K. & Moya, E. (Eds.). (2012). Social Justice in the U.S.- Mexico Border Region. New York: Springer. Ebook.

Malave, I. (2015). Latino Stats: American Hispanics by the Numbers. New York: The New Press. Stacks E 184. S75 M363 2015

Morales, E. & Rivera, L. (2013). Whose Barrio? The Gentrification of East Harlem. Kanopy streaming video and Reserve DVD-1025.

Morín, J. (2016). Latinos and Criminal Justice: An Encyclopedia. Greenwood. Reserve HV 6791. L38 2016.

Morín, J. (2009). Latino/a Rights and Justice in the United States: Perspectives and Approaches, 2nd ed. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press. Reserve E 184. S75 M675 2009

Oboler, S. (Ed.). (2009). Behind Bars: Latino/a and Prison in the United States. Stacks HV 9471. B394 2009

Perin, M. (2005, c1995). Hispanic Americans: One or Many Cultures? New York: Films Media Group. Streaming video

Rios, V. (2011). Punished: Policing the Lives of Black and Latino Boys. New York University Press. Reserve HV 7254. A7 O25 2011

Rivera, G. (2009). His Panic: Why Americans Fear Hispanics in the U.S. Stacks JV 6475. R58 2009

Rodriguez, R. (2008). Racism and God-talk: A Latino/a Perspective. New York: New York University Press. Ebook.

Salinas, L. (2015). U.S. Latinos and Criminal Justice. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press. Stacks KF 4757.5.L38 S35 2015 and ebook.

Sotomayor, S. (2014). My Beloved World. New York: Vintage Books. Reserve and Stacks KF8745 .S67 A3 2014

Urbina, M. (2012). Hispanics in the U.S. Criminal Justice System: The New American Demography. Springfield, Ill: Charles C. Thomas Publisher. Reserve KF 4757.5.L38 U73 2012

Urbina, M. (2015). Latino Police Officers in the United States: An Examination of Emerging Trends and Issues. Springfield, Ill: Charles C. Thomas Publisher. Stacks HV 7936.C83 U73 2015


This list is not comprehensive. Please consult reference librarians for suggestions on finding more books and video resources and helpful hints on finding scholarly articles in our full-text bibliographic databases.

Read more from the Spring 2017 issue of Classified Information, the Library's newsletter


By Ellen Sexton

With its convenience and the ability to view from anywhere, anytime, streaming media is our preferred format for acquiring video content. As it isn’t always possible for us to get the content we want in that format, we still maintain a DVD collection. All our DVDs are cataloged and discoverable through OneSearch on the Library homepage, and may be shown in class or viewed in the Library by individuals or small groups. Take a short walk to the Library Reserve desk and you can pick up one of our thousands of DVDs.

Babel, Brooklyn Babylon, and Glengarry GlenrossDVDS recently added to the Library collections





Call number

2001: A space odyssey




A clockwork orange




Adanggaman [17th c. West African wars & slavery]




An unreal dream: The Michael Morton story. [Innocence Project contests a wrongful murder conviction]








Black robe [17th c. Jesuit missionaries and Hurons]




Bling: A planet rock




Blow [1970s cocaine smuggler & dealer George Jung]




Brooklyn Babylon [Crown Heights romance across race and religion]




Charlie Wilson’s war




Cities of light : The rise and fall of Islamic Spain












Do not resist [police militarization; also available in streaming format]








Glengarry Glen Ross




La historia official [adoption and corruption in Argentina]




Marathon monks




Seven songs for a long life [hospice patients]








The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the revolution


Nelson Jr.


The war of the world: A new history of the 20th century




The witness (Kitty Genovese murder)








See also: Newly licensed streaming documentaries


Read more from the Spring 2017 issue of Classified Information, the Library's newsletter


By Jeffrey Kroessler

When given the option of choosing their own topic, most students select a controversy of the moment. (As a historian I hope in vain to encounter students with historical topics, but that is a discussion for another day.) More often than not, their search begins, and ends, with Google. Granted, they will find a great deal of information, but is it the information that they need?

A better place to start is the Library’s homepage, where students can access a set of databases specifically addressing current events. Under Databases by Subject, there is a link to “Current Events.” The next question is, which one?

A good starting point is CQ Researcher. From obesity to immigration to poverty to affirmative action, students will find reports illuminating the issue. Each report includes background information, a chronology, maps and graphs, and a bibliography. There is also a Pro/Con feature with experts or advocates on either side of a question offering their view. For instance, an October 2010 report titled “Preventing Obesity” asks the question: Should soda be excluded from the products that food stamp users can buy?

A second database found under Current Events is Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Searching for obesity brings up a range of opinion pieces, such as “Unhealthy foods should not be marketed to children.” Here, students have the chance to read pieces with a particular point of view and then evaluate the information used by the author and the opinion offered.

A third resource is Ethnic Newswatch, a collection of news sources from the minority and ethnic press. How is the question of childhood obesity covered in these sources, and what anecdotes can the student researcher use to support his or her own argument?

These sources and more are conveniently grouped together, but the student needs to know first that this is available, and second how to get there. The first step, therefore, is for the classroom instructor to direct students to these resources. Time invested here will pay great dividends when the final papers are turned in.

Read more from the Spring 2017 issue of Classified Information, the Library's newsletter


CUNY’s institutional repository reached an impressive milestone in March, recording a half million content downloads, accumulated during its first two years of existence. Publications posted on CAW by John Jay’s faculty were downloaded 13,440 times, mostly by users within the United States, but also overseas, as the map above shows.

The first graduate students from John Jay to deposit their theses in CAW were Jillian M. Wetzel and Sannia K. Tauqeer. Sannia’s thesis on touch/trace DNA transfer in the NYC subways has already reached readers in ten different countries, including some in government agencies in Europe and the U.S. The Bundesamt fuer Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik, the Direction Interministerielle des Systemes D’Information et de Communication de L Etat (Disic), and a Ministere de l’Interieur have all noted Sannia’s work.

The work of John Jay’s faculty and graduate students can be seen at

By Ellen Sexton

Read more from the Spring 2017 issue of Classified Information, the Library's newsletter

By Marta Bladek

For the past few years, the Library’s APA/MLA Citation Tools workshop has been the most popular of our Community Hour workshops. We offer multiple sessions each semester, increasing the frequency during midterms and finals. Similarly, our online APA/MLA citation guides continue to receive thousands of views each term.

While the Writing Center offers one-on-one assistance with formatting references, the Library instructs students on the use of citation tools available through many of our databases. We teach students how to get in the habit of documenting sources while they are gathering information for their research assignments. Rather than tackling citations at the very last—and very rushed—part of their research, students can now easily start collecting and storing citations as they find their sources.

These ever more popular citation tools change and get better all the time, but it is still necessary to compare a database-generated reference to the formatting specified in the appropriate style handbook. The following are just three of the many different tools you may introduce to your students.

Google Scholar

All works listed in Google Scholar come with a citation. All you have to do is click on Cite and choose, then copy and paste, your documentation style.

Cite button beneath article's search result in Google Scholar. Choice of style

EBSCO Databases

All of the EBSCO databases (including Academic Search Complete, Criminal Justice Abstracts, and PsycINFO) now feature the Cite option. It provides citations in many popular styles.

Cite button under Tools in Ebsco database; choice of citation style in popup window

ProQuest Databases

All the ProQuest databases (including ProQuest Social Sciences Premium and Criminal Justice Periodicals Index) also offer a citation tool.

Cite button in grey box with email option. Popup of citation style choice

As we remind students, these citation tools are helpful and make research more efficient. However, they are not perfect and the citations are not always completely accurate. While we encourage working with these database-generated citations, we also emphasize that all the citations need to be checked against the appropriate style handbooks.


Read more from the Spring 2017 issue of Classified Information, the Library's newsletter

Since 2013, the Library has co-organized an annual murder mystery-themed scavenger hunt for first-year, transfer, and Summer Bridge students with Student Academic Success Programs (SASP). This year, the challenge evolved into “Escape the Library!”, a group competition inspired by the popular escape-the-room games. Led by a librarian and a Peer Success Coach, student teams solve a mystery using library resources, including real historical documents. This spring’s cohort of 71 mystery solvers explored every corner of the Library and learned how to find information in the catalog and two databases.

The premise: a ghost has trapped everyone in the Library and won’t let anyone leave until they find out where his killer hid from the police. Armed with the ghost’s name and the date of his murder in 1921, students first consult the New York Times archives for an article about the (real) murder. From there, each clue leads to another clue by way of a new library skill, such as locating a book in the stacks. Then students scurry to find the pieces of the murder trial transcript hidden throughout the Library. Finally, each team must construct a properly-formatted APA citation to find a hidden message that reveals where the killer was hiding.

It took most teams the full 45 minutes to finish the challenge, though one team (pictured) completed everything in under 30 minutes. The prize, a free lunch in the cafeteria, so motivated some teams that they had to be (gently) reminded not to sprint in the Library!

Feedback from students has been very positive across the board. The only critique? “Make it more difficult!”

(Photo: Peer Success Coach Kelsey B. led Miranda B., Alondra H., and Aaron P. to win in record time. Printed with permission.)


By Robin Davis

Read more from the Spring 2017 issue of Classified Information, the Library's newsletter