The Journalist's Toolbox: Crime

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Update: Find attorneys - Attorneys.org presents free databases, including corporate law, to the public with sections about the criminal defense attorney.

Update: Crime Lawyers - CrimeLawyers.org find criminal defense attorneys by state.

Note: This page was changes on 08-31-2010. Also see the School Violence and Legal pages. Pages will launch into a new browser.

 

 


 

Recent Additions to This Section
(This section features sites added to the page in the last few weeks.
Each link is cross-referenced on the page in its proper category.)

National Criminal Justice Reference Service: Uniform Crime Report and Supplementary Homicide Report
Data by state is available since 1960 and data by local reporting agency since 1985.

LII.org: U.S. Patriot Act Resources
Resources from the Librarian?s Index to the Internet.

Bomb Threat Checklist
The Los Angeles Police Department's site provides a "bomb threat checklist" to download should you receive such a threatening call.

The Gallup Organization: Annual Crime Study
A collection of national crime stats.

 


 

Government Law Enforcement Sites

Library of Congress Executive Branch Links
One-stop shopping for government agencies (many of the criminal justice links are listed below.)

Bureau of Justice Statistics

TRAC Government site
A super site developed by Syracuse University to guide you to and through several government sites, including the IRS, FBI, DEA and ATF.

U.S. Department of Justice

U.S. Department of Justice: Understanding DNA Evidence
Online version of the handbook.

IRS.gov

 

FBI.gov

 

FBI.gov Uniform Crime Reports

 

FBI Handbook

Oyez: U.S. Supreme Court Multimedia Database
Hundreds of hours of audio materials delivered through a free player available from Real.com as well as summaries of cases before the court, organized by year.

Drug Enforcement Agency
Good stats and research tools.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
Good stats and research tools.

National Criminal Justice Reference Service: Uniform Crime Report and Supplementary Homicide Report
Data by state is available since 1960 and data by local reporting agency since 1985.

Bureau of Justice Statistics
Several different kinds of federal statistics on crime and justice.

Department of Justice's Stats Page

U.S. Sentencing Commission

Federal Bureau of Prisons

NRA: State Gun Laws
Use this image map to check gun laws state by state.

National Institute of Corrections

 


 

Crime Directories and Links

Auto Theft Information
Statistics and research on stolen cars.

Law Enforcement Sites
Includes a global guide to law enforcement resources. The site includes links to agencies, laws, magazines and other documents.

Criminal Justice Sourcebook
From the Bureau of Justice Statistics, links to several crime-related reference works from more than 100 sources.

Police Officers' Internet Directory
Links to state law enforcement agencies, law libraries, criminal justice information.

CopSeek Law Enforcement Links

 


 

Crime Databases and Statistics

The Gallup Organization: Annual Crime Study
A collection of national crime stats.

Safest Cities List
A list of America's safest and most dangerous cities (as of December 2001).

FBI Crime Statistics: 2001 Summary
Also available as a full-text document.

National Registry of Sex Offenders
Links to all the state sex offender databases run by state or local police. Search by zip code for names and addresses of sex offenders in a particular community. Some of these sites, such as Illinois have fairly complete databases. However, some have less than one-third of all sex offenders registered. Be sure to double-check any information you get.

State Sex Offender Registries
Thirty-four states have them, but many are under review for accuracy.

LittleLeague.org: Background Checks on Coaches
More than 40 states have links off this image map that check backgrounds of potential sexual predators.

MotherJones.com: Debt to Society/Prison Issues
The site offers a searchable database on the prison systems of all 50 states over a 20-year period, including details on prison spending vs. education spending.

Crime Spider
Links you to one of the best sites on the Web. Type in a word and find information on cybercrime, forensics, the FBI, investigation techniques, serial killers, missing persons, gang violence and more.

Federal Justice Statistics Resource Center Database
A database from the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys.

Department of Justice: National Crime Victimization Survey
A searchable database of stats and studies on various crimes.

National Insurance Crime Bureau
Great for crime statistics on car, home, personal property, etc.

IRE/NICAR Homicide Database
Contains new FBI database that details the age, sex and race information of offenders and victims, as well as other details.

Most Dangerous Intersections Database
Statefarm.com has a survey of what it calls the dangerous intersections in the country. Search the list by state to see your community's most dangerous intersection. Also see what the survey says are the nation's 10 most dangerous intersections.

Speedtrap Registry
Yes, a database of speedtraps around the country.

National Insurance Crime Bureau
Great studies and stats on stolen cars, home theft, etc.

National Insurance Crime Bureau: Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in 2000
A breakdown by metropolitan area.

The Crime Library

Jury Verdict Research
A for-profit company that maintains a database of nearly 200,000 verdicts and settlements resulting from personal injury claims.

Disastercenter.com Crime Stats
Search nationally and by state.

RapSheets.com
Produced by the Memphis Daily News, this PAY site allows you to search by a person's name and business name for civil records -- bankruptcies, trust deeds, lawsuits, business licenses, marriages, divorces, money judgments -- and some misdemeanor crimes (misdemeanor cases, etc.) . It searches many, but not all states, and has had mixed results from users. Still, it's worth a shot. It costs about $3 a search.

Corrections.com Inmate Database
Includes searchable databases of inmates in several states, as well as links to crime fighting organizations and agencies.

IRE and NICAR: Legal Databases
There is a fee for the legal databases.

U.S. DOT: Fatal Accident Reporting System Database
This links to details and samples of the data. NICAR charges for the full database. The data covers 1975-2001 and contains information on automobile accidents on public U.S. roads that resulted in the death of one or more people within 30 days of the accident.

North Carolina Corrections Database
Prisoners & fun facts about prisoners, such as what they're in for and for how long.

Vancouver Rape Relief and Women's Shelter
Information and opinion that can be useful to a journalist researching violence against women including theory and statistics and specific cases, custody and access, legal aid, women's equality.

Stanford University: Prison Experiment
An online tour of a 1971 psychology experiment on California college students sent to prison. Photos, video, background. Interesting research.

U.S. Surveillance Statistics
Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts on behalf of the U.S. Courts. 2001 Wiretap Report.

Unclaimed Persons Database
Dead people who've never been claimed by a next-of-kin.

Chicago Police Department Crime Database

P.I. Crime Digest
Contains links to a number of databases including unclaimed property, railroad accidents, currency converter, attorney and physician profiles, language translators, crime reports, etc.

Neighborhood Crime Databases

Crime-stats.org
Uniform Crime Reports data available by zip code and law enforcement agency.

Search Databases
Crime, government, school districts and more. Updated with new additions on front page.

Social Security Death Records

Public Records Online
Search state-by-state criminal records, real estate information and more.

Bureau of Justice Statistics
Several different kinds of federal statistics on crime and justice.

Department of Justice's Stats Page

Chicago Tribune Crime Database
Full of local crime statistics. Search crimes by neighborhoods.

Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics
From the State University of New York at Albany.

LemonLaw.com

CJR's Criminal Justice Sources
A detailed resource guide linking to a wide array of online data, statistics and expert sources.

National Criminal Justice Reference Service

Public-Information.com
This site charges a fee. Search state/local criminal, DMV, prison records and more.

Discreet Research Inc.
Another pay site that search criminal, DMV and other records.

Criminal-Records.com
Search federal court, divorce court, marriage licenses, military records and more.

JoinTogether.org
A study was released project associated with Boston University School of Public Health that found that the 1989 Massachusetts statute that adds jail time when drugs are sold when 1,000 feet of a school (which many states have on their books) has failed to drive drug dealers from school yards.

Department of Justice Federal Records Guide

CrimeLynx.com
Legal resource center with expert links, policy and research links.

Bureau of Justice Statistics Jail Population Study
Study: More than 6.5 million adults were jailed, on probation or on parole at the end of last year, a record-high number that represents 3.1 p of the country's total population or 1 of every 32 adults. Look up your state.

Campus Security Statistics
Reported incidents at U.S. colleges.

Interpol Most Wanted "Red Notices"

National Archive of Criminal Justice Data
Searchable databases of 500+ criminal-justice data collections.

Property Room: Stolen Property Lookup

Crimenet.com
A combined information service on criminal records, stolen property, missing persons, wanted persons, con artists and unsolved crimes.

TBO.com: Crime Tracker
A tool to track crime statistics, neighborhood by neighborhood; from Tampa Bay Online & WFLA-TV.

 


 

Crime News

Findlaw.com: 9-11 Legal Cases
A full listing of the civil and criminal cases. A valuable resource!

Crime.com
Crime news, travel warnings, "jail cam" and more.

APB News Online
The site is back under new ownership and is still posting crime news.

 

Poynter.org: Ethics and Crime Coverage
When is it responsible for you to name the accused? When is it not?

APBNews.com: Crimes of the Century
Site about the 10 crimes that most changed America.

CyberCrime.com
Partner site to the TechTV show.

Corrections.com
This site for prison administrators includes many interesting stories and studies on prison issues and trends.

GanglandNews.com
Mob news and notes.

Famous Mugshots
Police mugs of celebrities.

 


 

Crime Associations and Organizations

Anti-Defamation League
Organization has information on hate groups and terrorism.

The Innocence Project
A searchable database of states offering projects to free wrongfully accused prisoners through DNA and other evidence. Run by the Cardozo School of Law in NYC.

Center for Immigration Studies
Includes some crime data.

American Correctional Association
Press inquiries, background and more.

Parents of Murdered Children
An activist/support group site that includes some studies, newsletters and other helpful information.

Center to Prevent Handgun Violence

National Rifle Association

Treatment Advocacy Center
Studies on mental illness, treatments, and various laws and legal interpretations.

National Organization of Victim Assistance

Child Abuse and Neglect Clearinghouse Organizations Database
Links to more than 100 national organizations.

 


 

Miscellaneous Crime Sites

Victims and the Media Program
From the Michigan State University's School of Journalism, this site "educates journalists of today and tomorrow about how to report on victims of violence and catastrophe with the dignity, compassion and sensitivity they deserve." It provides journalists information on trauma and the impact it can have on them. Includes a three-week online course for victim advocates and service providers on how to Build an Effective Media Strategy.

Center at Georgetown University for the Study of Violence: Violence News

Detroit Free Press Criminal Procedure site
A great starting point for definitions and terms. Two Michigan judges give a mini-course in Michigan criminal procedure, though it's helpful nationally as well. Very handy on deadline.

Grand Jury Basics
Two lawyers explain the history and function of grand juries.

Terrorism Research

ComputerUser.com: Internet and Identity Theft

FBI: Detecting Fake IDs

Australia's National Crime Authority: Investigation of Fraud

NationalFraud.com

Police Foundation Research Brief: Catching Career Criminals

360Degrees.org: The U.S. Criminal Justice System
Perspectives on the U.S. justice system.

Covering Courts
Tips from the St. Petersburg Times and Dr. Cecil Greek of Florida State.

Covering Courts Criminal Justice Links
Dr. Greek's criminal justice links.

Reporting on Suicide: Recommendations for the Media
A tips and ideas sheet from the University of Pennsylvania Annenberg School. Designed to help journalists cover suicide responsibly.

National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty

NCPC.org: Neighborhood Watch

National Neighborhood Watch

National Town Watch

Virtual Courthouse Resources
Links, tips and other resources from the Los Angeles Superior Court.

They Fight Crime

Police Notebook
Crime safety tips from the University of Oklahoma Police Department. Good tips for on and off campus.

SpeedTrap.com
Shows locations and tips for avoiding speed traps. Helpful for driving in other countries.

FEMA: U.S. Fire Administration
Fire emergency resources.

PBS Frontline: Criminal Justice
A collection of companion Web sites on various crime, legal system and justice topics.

Internet Law Library
A free collection of articles, statutes, cases and resources on Internet issues such as copyright law, trademark law, domain name law, cookies, data retrieval, etc.

CrimeLibrary.com
Collection of stories from famous murder cases. Information on psychological profiles of the criminal mind.

Reporter.org
Click on "courts and the law" and "crime and law enforcement". Includes many links to key criminal justice sites.

Privacy Rights.org
Documented identity theft cases are archived on this site.

Cops and Courts Reporters Resources

Criminal Justice Journalists Resources

Jocks 'N Cops
A police blotter, including some mug shots, of athletes, coaches, others in trouble with the law.

DrugWar.com
Opinion, commentary and resources on the war on drugs.

Chicago Sun-Times: Chicago Mob Project
A great in-depth series on organized crime in Chicago.

AndreaCampbell.com
A forensic scientist, Campbell will soon have a book out, "Legal Ease: A Guide to Criminal Law, Evidence and Procedure" and is offers contact information as a source at her Web site.

Police Abuses
This site examines what it calls common obstacles to accountability for police abuse in fourteen large cities, from Atlanta to Boston to San Francisco.

USC:Covering Cops Post 9-11

Florida State: Graphic of the Criminal Justice System
An interactive graphic of the criminal justice system.

PressClub.org: Award-Winning Police Reporting
Find models of excellence to study.

Diana K. Sugg: Police Reporting
Anyone starting a new beat should be sure to read this article from a veteran cops reporter now on the health beat.

CyberTipline
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children launches a CyberTipline where people can report the sexual exploitation of children. All it takes is a few mouse clicks to file an online report.

Child Abuse Prevention
An long list of state and federal resources.

About's Organized Crime Page

Youth Crime Watch of America
News articles, links and other resources on crime prevention targeted at kids.

Fraud Defense Network

CourtTV.com
Take the TV show's site with a grain of salt, but it has some helpful information.

Crime Magazine
An encyclopedia of crime, organized by types.

Australia's National Crime Prevention Site
Links, databases and more.

Prison Zone

National Crime Justice Reference Service: The International Chiefs of Police

Stop Carnivore Site
An ACLU tool that outlines legislation to stop FBI's use of privacy-invading software.

State Fire Marshals

Burn Prevention Foundation

Fire Safe

Burn Prevention Foundation

National Fire Protection Association

Fire Fighters Association

Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act
Takes effect October 2002.

PrisonFellowship.org
Run by former Watergate convict Charles Colson, this ministry works with churches and community groups to provide fellowship for prisoners and former prisoners.

Casebook: Jack the Ripper

The Lindbergh Case

The Memory Hole: CIA Crimes
Features a congressional report on CIA-sponsored international crimes that includes data citing a large number of crimes committed by CIA agents in other countries.

Unabomber's Pen Pals Site
The Smoking Gun site has this twisted, sick site for anyone wanting to correspond with this guy. Could make for an interesting anecdote for a feature or trend story, which is the only reason this link is on this page.

LII.org: U.S. Patriot Act Resources
Resources from the Librarian?s Index to the Internet.

Free Winona.com
A fan site dedicated to "freeing" Winona Ryder, who's accused of shoplifting. Order a T-shirt!

 


Rural Pipe Bombings

ATF: Stats and Resources on Mailbox Pipe Bombings
Press statements, studies, stats and more.

Bomb Threat Checklist
The Los Angeles Police Department's site provides a "bomb threat checklist" to download should you receive such a threatening call.

National Academies: Better Pipe Bomb Detection Needed
Information calling for new research being needed to improve detection, identification techniques for finding pipe bombs, catching bomb makers.

National Academy of Engineering
Listing of domestic terrorism incidents since the Oklahoma City bombing.

Emergency.com: History of Pipe Bombings
Some stats and references to past pipe bombings.

Cyberspace Inmates
Lists 1,625 inmates' sites.

PrisonPennPals.com
Lists 1,006 inmates' web sites.

White House Drug Office

Maryland Fire and Explosives Investigations: Pipe Bomb Safety Tips

 


 

Crime and the World Trade Center Attacks

World Trade Center/Pentagon Terrorism Page
Dozens of links to research.

Terrorism Research Center
Resources and research including comprehensive listing of links to terrorism-related Web pages including profiles of individual terrorist groups compiled by the U.S. Navy's Dudley Knox Library.

No. 10 Downing Street
British law enforcement site offers details on its case against Osama bin Laden.

National Police Chaplains Association
Has some terrorist-attack related resources.

 


 

Maryland-Virgina Sniper Shootings

Poynter.org: An Ethical Examination of Sniper Coverage

Washington Post Coverage
Stories, columns, photos, graphics, video helpful links, etc.

Baltimore Sun Coverage
Stories, columns, photos, graphics, video helpful links, etc.

Washington Times Coverage
Links to the past week of stories.

Montgomery County (Md.) Public Schools
What the school district is doing in reaction to the shootings.

Montgomery County (Md.) Police Department
Announcements, description of the rifle used, etc.

Crime Library.com: Serial Killers Page

Crime Magazine
An encyclopedia of crime, organized by types.

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