Michigan State University

Collection Development Policy Statement: Criminal Justice

Factors Influencing Collection Policy

A. Background Information.

  • According to an article by Jon Sorenson and Rocky Pilgrim in the Journal of Criminal Justice (30 (2002) 11-18, the MSU School of Criminal Justice faculty consistently rank near the top in publishing in the leading journals in the criminal justice field.
  • According to a recent U.S. News & World Report, MSU has one of the top ten Master of Public Administration programs with a specialization in criminal justice for 2001.
  • 2005 News & World Report Ranking : 7th at Doctoral Level
  • 2005 News & World Report Ranking : 7th .
  • 2009 News & World Report Ranking : 7th
  • The School of Criminal Justice is considered one of the premier programs within the College of Social Science.
  • The Forensic Science Program at MSU is the oldest continually functioning eductional degree program in forensic science in the U.S. The program has now evolved into a Forensic Science Masters program, offering student specializations in one of three major areas : forensic chemistry, forensic biology, and forensic anthropology. Students enrolled in the forensic chemistry concentration focus on the analysis and identification of controlled substances and trace evidence, which ranges from glass, paint, and fiber analysis to the identification of explosive residues. Source : UCC, April 19, 2007.
  • Research centers have sprung up in universities nationwide. Early centers were attached to law schools and social science departments; however, since the early 1980s, research centers have been made part of a variety of criminal justice and sociology departments around the country. Perhaps the most interesting advent since the late 1960s has been the proliferation of graduate programs in criminology and criminal justice. In the 1970s, there were only two programs granting the Ph.D. degree in criminology and criminal justice. As of 1999, there were over twenty such programs within criminal justice, and many more that distribute Masters-level degrees in criminal justice. Further, a large number of programs granting the Ph.D. degree in sociology and psychology exist in which students can specialize in issues surrounding crime, law, psychopathy, deviance, and antisocial behavior. Many of these graduate programs are leaders in the dissemination of criminological, criminal justice, and violence research, including the University of Maryland, Carnegie Mellon University, State University New York–Albany, University of Cincinnati, Florida State University, Pennsylvania State University, University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, Northeastern University, Michigan State University, University of Missouri–St. Louis, Arizona State University, University of California–Irvine, University of Illinois–Chicago, American University, Rutgers University, University of Washington, Cambridge University, University of Montreal, University of Chicago, University of Wisconsin, Harvard University, and others. Source : Encyclopedia of Crime and Justice, 2002.
  • May 2009 Update from Dr. Ed McGarrell:
    (1) We have a new cross-college research initiative known as the Anti-Counterfeiting Product Protection Program. We link with the Standards and Society group, engineering (sensors/tracking), packaging, supply chain, communications, and public health (pharmaceutical counterfeiting). We are also working closely with the Food and Society group led by ANR and Vet Med. Jeremy Wilson leads this initiative. it is primarily research but may evolve into a specialization.
    (2) The new Law Enforcement Intelligence and Analysis masters program is rapidly growing. The online masters degree program is also growing. Other than that enrollments are quite stable.
    (3) The Judicial Administration program is probably the only question mark. The non-credit professional education enrollments are going very well but it is not yet translating into masters level specialization or degree enrollments. No decisions have been made.
    (4) Conservation criminology is a new emphasis and several new faculty members have been hired to work in this area.
    (5) Finally, we are a "placeholder" for a railway management program. The Emergency Response Solutions group have developed a non-credit professional education programs. There is now an endowed chair in rail management and transportation studies being recruited. He/she will likely have an appointment elsewhere on campus (current negotiations may result in a faculty member in LIR). They envision a specialization linked to the masters in supply chain management. This will be shaped by the endowed chair and thus it is speculation at this time.

B.  History.

The School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University is the nation’s oldest continuous degree-granting program in criminal justice.

Since 1935, MSU has been a leader in criminal justice scholarship—with its pioneering research, undergraduate, and graduate education and engaged collaboration with criminal justice agencies, the private sector, and communities locally and abroad.

At the undergraduate level we offer a Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice. We have made the degree more flexible so that students can pursue the rich variety of additional majors, second degrees, and minors offered at MSU. The School offers a security management minor, and students can also pursue a range of other minors: conservation and environmental law enforcement; Muslim studies; spatial information processing; women, gender, and social justice; and a variety of area studies programs. Students are encouraged to participate in internships and Study Abroad programs, and two student associations assist students in making connections to the professional community.

Our Master of Science degree program in criminal justice is designed to support professionals seeking personal growth and career enhancement through continuing education, as well as students preparing for doctoral study. The program is also offered in online format to better address the needs of professionals employed throughout the country and the world. The degree includes minor options in security management and judicial administration, and certificates in anti-counterfeiting and product protection program, conservation criminology, homeland security, international focus, judicial administration, law enforcement intelligence and analysis, and security management.

Masters degrees are offered online in judicial administration and law enforcement intelligence and analysis. The School is also proud to offer a master’s degree in forensic science. This degree attracts outstanding students pursuing one of three tracks: forensic anthropology, forensic biology, and forensic chemistry.

MSU is one of the three founding universities to offer a doctoral degree in criminal justice. The PhD was an outgrowth of the Presidential Crime Commission of the late 1960s, with the initial degree awarded in 1971. Since that time MSU PhDs in criminal justice have become leaders in academia, private research organizations, and governmental agencies. Indeed, our doctoral alumni include deans and professors in leading university programs throughout the U.S. and internationally, as well as highly-ranked officials within national police organizations and the U.S. Department of Justice. We provide a challenging yet supportive academic environment and close mentoring relationships with faculty. Several studies have found recent graduates of our School to be the most productive faculty in terms of scholarly publication.

As the nation’s founding Land Grant University, MSU has long been committed to both generating new knowledge and applying that knowledge to address fundamental problems facing communities, nations, and the world. This is a fundamental and distinctive aspect of the School of Criminal Justice. It is apparent in the many programs that are part of our Outreach Unit; in the collaboration between our faculty and students and forensic crime labs throughout the U.S. and beyond; and in the research conducted by our faculty. The School is home to the Michigan Justice Statistics Analysis Center and the Michigan Victim’s Assistance Academy. It is also home to major national programs on juvenile detention, law enforcement intelligence, and gun violence, and international programs on transnational and comparative criminal justice. As you review faculty research interests –  including topics as diverse as corporate security; delinquency and youth development; drug courts; environmental crime; forensic evidence; gangs, gender and justice; homicide; inmate re-entry; judicial administration; law and policymaking; police deviance; police use of force; race, ethnicity and justice; restorative justice; staff burnout; risk assessment; terrorism; victimization; and much more – it becomes apparent that the School is engaged with the most pressing crime and justice issues of the day.

The School’s engagement is also evident in the partnerships established with professional associations, public and private agencies, and universities within the U.S. and abroad. For example, the Judicial Administration Program has established formal partnerships with the leading professional associations of judicial managers, as well as with many state and federal judicial organizations and court systems in Australia and Egypt. The School collaborates with the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards, the Michigan State Police, numerous Michigan and U.S. local law enforcement agencies, federal agencies (e.g., DEA, DHS, EPA, FBI, Fish and Wildlife, FLETC, NIJ, National Park Service), Interpol, the Korean National Police, the Turkish National Police, the Thai Royal Police, and a number of constabularies in the United Kingdom.

A prime example of such collaboration is our relationship with the University of Michigan, whereby our faculty directs the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data and the newly established Archive on Terrorism. Similarly, we work with the University of Minnesota on food security, Rutgers University on risk assessment, Babes-Bolyai University in Romania on community policing, and universities in Australia, India, Korea, the Philippines, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and beyond. Additionally, the School works with leading corporations including Ford, General Motors, IBM, and Target, to address security-related issues in a global marketplace.

These partnerships enrich the School by generating research questions and providing research opportunities, grounding our educational programs in real world experience, and linking our students to professional opportunities.

C. Purpose and scope of collection :

  • The primary purpose of the collection is to support faculty research and teaching, student resource needs, and the research and development needs of criminal justice professionals throughout the state of Michigan. Primary emphases include: crime, corrections, juvenile justice, law enforcement, substance abuse, forensic science, and security management, with special emphasis on the latter two.
  • Research and instruction has spread out into many interdisciplinary areas, including conservation and environmental law, Muslim studies, spatial information processing, women, gender, and social justice.
  • Newer areas of emphasis include anti-counterfeiting and product protection, conservation criminology, homeland security, judicial administration, law enforcement intelligence analysis, and comparative criminology.
  • In general, the MSU Libraries will attempt to collect a wide variety of indexing and abstracting tools, periodicals and journals, as well as research materials to support the undergraduate, master, and PhD programs offered by the MSU School of Criminal Justice, one of the oldest and most respected programs in the country.
  • With roots in anthropology, history, law, political science, psychology, and sociology, criminal justice is an inherently multidisciplinary field of study. This focus is apparent in our faculty. In recent years it has become even more apparent as we move toward an inter- and cross-disciplinary focus in our educational, research, and outreach activity. We build on connections to every college within MSU. This is evident through the minors offered to undergraduate and graduate students and through the outside cognate area of the PhD program. It is also witnessed in the School’s involvement in MSU’s Risk Research Initiative. Through these connections, MSU students have access to cutting-edge courses in information and cybersecurity; environmental compliance and enforcement; forensics; geospatial analysis; global and area studies; judicial administration; public health; and supply chain security. This interdisciplinary focus runs through the curriculum, is part of minors and degree programs, and is available for individualized programs of study at undergraduate and graduate levels.
  • Unique materials in the MSU Libraries include an extensive run of NCJRS microfiche reports in the Microforms Collection that were purchased in this format before the current practice of making documents available over the world wide web. In addition, the MSU Libraries Special Collections unit also contains a collection of German Criminology and Witchcraft materials.

D. Interdisciplinary Information :

  • Our two peer MRLT institutions, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University do not have high profile criminal justice programs.
  • Other CIC schools to watch : Northwestern University (Transportation Library), Penn State University, Rutgers University, and the University of Wisconsin.
  • The criminal justice collection is supplemented by extensive law and business collections. As of 2006, law materials (criminal law, business law, etc.) are now collected primarily by the Michigan State University College of Law Library, although various subject bibliographers are allowed to purchase materials if they choose. The Gast Business Library also provides materials that support the Security Management program.

Partnerships and Outreach Connections

The School of Criminal Justice engages in a wide variety of research-based training and technical assistance activities intended to address critical crime and justice problems. These activities involve interaction with local communities, criminal justice agencies, and the private sector in the U.S. as well across the globe. 

A.  Policing:

  • Michigan Justice Statistics Center
  • Center for Police Executive Development
  • School of Staff and Command
  • Community Policing
  • Program on Police Consolidation and Shared Services

B. Courts and Judicial Administration

  • Judicial Administration Program
  • Jerritt Program

C. Emerging Crimes

  • Center for Anti-Counterfeiting & Product Protection (A-CAPP)
  • Conservation Criminology

D. Emergency Response

E. Violence Prevention and Control

  • Drug Market Initiative Training
  • Project Safe Neighborhoods
Michigan State University