Three Great Free Data Tools for Students of Criminal Justice

black Image of scales on white background with the words, "calibrate the scales" overlaid. As with any set of scales, the scales of justice must, from time to time, be recalibrated. Total balance is never achieved, but all in the criminal justice and legal systems must strive for it as much as possible.

Students of Criminal Justice and Law must often muddle through piles of data to create hypotheses and draw conclusions. Sometimes the data is drawn upon research conducted at the University, but it need not be. The United States government collects and compiles so much data today that just three databases can provide any student with years of research, maybe decades. Following are three of the best free crime and justice-related databases which students of criminal justice will find useful.

DATA.GOV is the official website for the United States government data collection. It offers open source data as part of the services provided by U.S. General Services Administration, an little-known agency which has been serving the public for nearly seven decades.

All data is presented in a standard format and available for download as a spreadsheet. The standard categories for the data are:

  • Title
  • Description
  • Tags
  • Last Update
  • Publisher
  • Contact Name
  • Additional info

Initially, the data is sorted by 14 topics, which are:

  1. Agriculture
  2. Climate
  3. Consumer
  4. Ecosystems
  5. Education
  6. Energy
  7. Finance
  8. Health
  9. Local Government
  10. Manufacturing
  11. Maritime
  12. Ocean
  13. Public Safety
  14. Science & Research

Although the project is still rather new, there is already an abundance of information to be found which will be useful to students of justice and law. In addition, the entire database is searchable. For instance, a broad search for “crime” yielded 10 data sets including:

To Access Criminal Justice (Public Safety) Data click here.


Since 1930, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has been collecting crime data from police agencies around the country. Although participation in collecting and sending crime data to the FBI is voluntary, the vast majority of law enforcement organizations in the United States participate. This provides students of crime and justice with an abundance of information upon which to understand the subject in various population centers.

The data collected is provided in a spreadsheet format with important annotations and there is even a tool for customizing the data pulled, making research much easier and less time-consuming. To learn more about using this tool, click here.

Access the FBI UCR here.

CIA Factbook

For decades, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has been collecting data related to every country on earth. Each year, the data is compiled into a publication called the CIA World Factbook. At one time, the only way to get the book was to purchase it in a bookstore or check it out from the local library. Today, the CIA provides the same information on their website along with special reports and publications, all of which may be downloaded or viewed online.

Students of criminal justice and law will most be interested in the:

  • geographic information
  • demographic info
  • government info including court and legislative systems
  • economic info
  • details related to the military in the nation
  • transnational information, often as it relates to legal issues impacting the nation

We encourage students to check out the CIA World Factbook.

Access the CIA World Factbook here.

Great Free Data Tools for Students of Criminal Justice and Law

At, we are dedicated to helping students of criminal justice and law speed research by providing both great tools for research along with recommendations and links to resources we believe will be beneficial. If you have an idea for such a resource, please drop us a note at

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President, Publisher at Oakes Media Group
C J Oakes is an author and freelance writer from Lubbock, TX, USA. In addition to this website, he operates and

As an author, he has numerous books to his credit including the best-selling Survive and Thrive After the Collapse of the Dollar series. In addition, he has written over a hundred books for clients since 2011 and has created innumerable web pages for law firms and others worldwide.

Passionate about Justice, Mr. Oakes believes that the scales of justice are never balanced, but it is the duty of each citizen to do their part to re-calibrate the scales as needed. When the scales of justice shift too far to one side, they must be returned a near as possible to center.

He built this site with the goal of helping students of criminal justice understand how to apply the principles needed for re-calibrating the scales as well as providing easy access to needed study resources.

Criminal Justice Law International welcomes guest posts and anyone interested in contributing to the goals of the site.

This site is owned by Oakes Media Group.