Bureau of Justice Statistics website makes crime stats freely available

In need of crime statistics and don’t know where to look? Try the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics!

The Bureau of Justice Statistics (B.J.S.) was first established on Dec. 27, 1979, under the Justice Systems Improvement Act of 1979. Their goal is to: “collect, analyze, publish, and disseminate information on crime, criminal offenders, victims of crime, and the operation of justice systems at all levels of government. These data are critical to federal, state, and local policymakers in combating crime and ensuring that justice is both efficient and evenhanded.”

Using data collected by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, along with other Department of Justice statistical programs and data from other federal agencies, the B.J.S. makes this data freely available to anyone with a computer.

Data is published annually on:

  • Criminal victimization
  • Populations under correctional supervision
  • Federal criminal offenders and case processing

Periodic data series include:

  • Administration of law enforcement agencies and correctional facilities
  • Prosecutorial practices and policies
  • State court case processing
  • Felony convictions
  • Characteristics of correctional populations
  • Criminal justice expenditure and employment
  • Civil case processing in State courts
  • Special studies on other criminal justice topics

Need some old data? Well luckily B.J.S. archives data files, documents them, and makes them available through the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data.

So hope on and take a look around! You just might be surprised at the various types of statistics you can find!

W. Blake Wilson, Instructional & Research Services Librarian