Research Sources for Juvenile Justice

Updated April 11, 2011.
Prepared by Cheryl Nyberg for Prof. Ambrose's Juvenile Justice Seminar, B617.

Research on juvenile justice issues may involve medical and social science materials as well as legal sources. This guide describes selected online sources, including commercial services to which the UW Libraries subscribe (UW Restricted) and free websites.

See the Gallagher guide on Other Library Catalogs for information on locating books beyond the Gallagher Law Library. Relevant subject headings used in library catalogs include:

  • Competency to stand trial
  • Cyberbullying
  • Juvenile courts
  • Juvenile delinquency
  • Juvenile justice, Administration of
  • Statutory rape
  • Teenage sex offenders


In addition to the regular sources you search for legal information (law review articles, newsletters, LexisNexis, and Westlaw), consider search law-related blogs and websites. These sources are especially useful for recent news and commentary.

BlawgSearch & Blawg Republic
Two searchable collections of legal and law-related blogs (blog + law = blawg).

American Bar Association, Blawg Directory
See especially the listings under Juvenile Justice.

A free website that searches thousands of legal and law-related websites. Review the User Guide for more information.

For additional information, see the Gallagher guides on Blogs & RSS Feeds and Law-Related Blogs in Washington State.

Medical medical icon

Start with the sources described on the UW Libraries Health Sciences subject page.

PubMed is the primary index to health and medical literature. Using the UW Libraries link will enable you to link to full-text articles.



American Humane Association

Focuses on child abuse, neglect, and welfare. Advocates for children with the U.S. Congress.

Campaign for Youth

A group of "national youth serving organizations who came together to build a united voice for disadvantaged youth in this nation." Offers legislative and policy solutions and publications.

Child Welfare Information Gateway

A federal government website providing "print and electronic publications, websites, databases, and online learning tools for improving child welfare practice." Includes a collection of 50-state laws surveys on abuse and neglect, adoption, and welfare issues.

Child Welfare League of American

A "coalition of hundreds of private and public agencies serving vulnerable children and families." Provides information and legislative resources on many topics.

Models for Change: Systems Reform in Juvenile Justice

Identifies Washington as one of four states working on system-wide change. Links to numerous publications; sort by state. Twenty-seven publications focus on or mention Washington.

National Center for State Courts

The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Resource Guide describes and links to sources from many organizations.

Washington State Institute for Public Policy

Conducts nonpartisan research for the Washington State Legislature. Policy areas include child welfare, criminal justice--juveniles, and education. Website offers copies of publications.


Public Policy

In addition to the organizations listed above (and other associations and organizations), you can find public policy documents in other places.

National Criminal Justice Reference Service
Provides "justice and substance abuse information to support research, policy, and program development." Includes many federally-funded reports. The Juvenile Justice section covers child protection and health, corrections and detention, delinquency prevention, gender/race/ethnicity, juvenile courts, juvenile delinquency, schools, and victims.

CQ Researcher (UW Restricted)
Intended for undergrads but useful to law students too. Useful for identifying reports from associations and government agencies. Archives extend to 1923, enabling comparisons over time.


Social Sciences

The social sciences study how humans behave. Criminology, cultural studies, economics, political science, psychology, and sociology are among the disciplines whose literature may be useful to researchers. Several UW Libraries Subject guides deal with these topics. The guides will point you to the most useful databases for locating books and articles. Most of these databases are UW Restricted.

What if you find an older article or book and want to find more recent sources on the same topic? The ISI Web of Knowledge (aka Web of Science) acts like KeyCite or Shepard's to make those connections. (UW Restricted)



Statistics are collected, maintained, and published by many associations, government agencies, and organizations.

General Sources

US Census Bureau's annual Statistical Abstract of the United States. HA202 at Reference Area & Reference Office
The Law Enforcement, Courts & Prisons heading includes several groups of statistics on youth offenders.

The World Almanac and Book of Facts. AY67.N5W7, annual, latest at Reference Area & Reference Office

FedStats provides links to statistics from more than 100 government agencies.

Specialized Sources

A federal government website that organizes statistics on children and families from 22 federal agencies covers demographic, economic, education, health, safety and related topics.

Covers arrests, crimes, jails, parole, prosecution, sentencing, victims, and related subjects.

Addresses many of the same topics as the Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics. The statistics are often accompanied by analysis and commentary.

A Justice Department agency that compiles the Statistical Briefing Book and the Juvenile Court Statistics Databook, which provide data to create customized statistical reports.

ProQuest Statistical Insight (UW Restricted) is a commercial service that indexes statistical sources produced by federal, state, and local government agencies; organizations and associations; international and nongovernmental organizations; and others. Relevant subject headings include:

  • Juvenile courts and cases
  • Juvenile crime
  • Juvenile detention and correctional facilities


50-State Law Surveys

Do you want to identify, locate, and/or compare the states' laws on a particular subject?


Subject Compilations of State Laws (UW Restricted)
A searchable database that cites to articles, books, cases, court briefs, government documents, LexisNexis and Westlaw 50-state surveys, looseleaf services, and websites that list or compare state laws on hundreds of topics. Relevant subject headings include:

  • Juvenile courts
  • Juvenile offenders
  • Minors

Articles that are found in the Law Journal Library on HeinOnline are linked. Website URLs are given. For books and government documents, check a library catalog to discover where a copy of the item is found.


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