Rutgers University Libraries Prisoners and Their Families

The Basics

This guide focuses on resources that you can use when seeking information on issues relating to prisoners and their families. For other resources relating to social work research see the Intro to Social Work: Basic Resources guide. For resources relating to criminal justice, see the Criminal Justice Research Guide.

Restricted Access

Many of the resources listed in the sections below are marked Restricted Access. You should have no problem connecting to these from any networked computer on campus. However in order to use these from off-campus, you must log in with your Rutgers NetID. For instructions see the Libraries' Remote Access to Library Resources.

Off-Campus Links

Once you have gone to a Rutgers Libraries page and logged in with your NetID [your pegasus username and password] you can use the "Off-Campus Link" provided for each Rutgers-restricted resource below to connect to that database or article. Use the link embedded in the citation to access these resources on campus.

IRIS: Find Books

IRIS is the online catalog for all the Rutgers University Libraries except the Newark and Camden Law Libraries. Many of the sections below include suggestions for searching IRIS to locate other books on the topic(s) covered in that section. Show Me How

The Don M. Gottfredson Library of Criminal Justice, located at the Center for Law and Justice, has a world-famous collection of crime and criminal justice materials. Use the same subject headings you use in IRIS to search the Newark Law Library catalog.

Getting Books From Other Rutgers Libraries

If a book that you need is not available (not owned/checked out) at the Dana Library, but is available from another Rutgers Library, you can request delivery of that book to Dana by bringing up the record for the book in IRIS and clicking on tbe Deliver/Recall button. Show Me

Finding Articles plus

Social Sciences Full Text
Social Sciences Full Text is the basic index for finding articles in the social sciences. Indexes over 550 of the core, English language journals in social science disciplines including sociology and social work, public administration, political science, public welfare, and urban studies. Indexes many journals back to 1982 and, beginning with 1995, includes many full-text articles.
Off-Campus Link Restricted Access.

Need More?

While Social Sciences Full Text will usually give you what you need for a basic research paper in the social sciences, if you're working on a more extensive project, or a more specialized topic, you may need a more focused index.

Social Services Abstracts
Index to research relating to social work, human services, and relating areas. Social Services Abstracts indexes over 1300 journals as well as dissertations.
Off-Campus Link Restricted Access

Criminal Justice Abstracts
Criminal Justice Abstracts is a comprehensive index to journals, books, government publications, dissertations, and reports relating to criminal justice, criminology, and related disciplines from 1968 to the present. This index is based on materials found in the Criminal Justice Collection located in the Rutgers Center for Law and Justice in Newark, and is the most complete catalog for that collection.
Off-Campus Link Restricted Access

Sociologial Abstracts 1963-
Index to approximately 1800 scholarly and professional journals in sociology and related disciplines, as well as to books reviews, books, book chapters, dissertations and conference papers.
Off-Campus Link Restricted Access

Becoming an 'Expert' User

Want to maximize your use of Library resources? Check out Searchpath, the Libraries' interactive tutorial.

Citing Your Sources

You will be using MLA (Modern Language Association) style when citing the sources that you use in your research papers. The MLA Style Manual is available at the Dana Library Reference Desk. The Writing Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison also has a nice introduction to MLA Documentation that will give you the basic information you need to create MLA citations and a Works Cited list.

You can also import references from IRIS and many of the electronic databases into RefWorks, a web-based bibliography and database manager. RefWorks will build your bibliography for you based on whatever style sheet you specify (MLA, Chicago, etc.). For information on setting up your (free) RefWorks account see the RefWorks FAQ.

Not sure when you need to cite something? Check out the Plagiarism Guide

Getting Started: Basic Reference Works

Encyclopedia of Social Work. 20th edition. New York, National Association of Social Workers, 2008.
Almost always a good place to begin your research. About 400 lengthy signed articles with bibliographies on topics felt to be of particular relevance of social work, as well as 200 brief biographies of key figures in the history of social work. Many articles include a historical overview.
Off-Campus Access Rutgers-restricted Access

Encyclopedia of Crime & Justice. Edited by Joshua Dressler. 2d edition. New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2002. 4 vols.
An excellent starting point for topical research. Over 250 signed scholarly articles, with extensive bibliographies and relevant case law, on all aspects of criminal justice. Includes (pp. xxv-xxxvi) a guide to American and British legal citations. Table of Contents
Dana Call Number: Ref. HV 6017 .E52 2002

Encyclopedia of American Prisons. Edited by Marilyn D. McShane and Frank P. Williams III. New York: Garland Publishing, 1996.
More than 150 signed, scholarly articles with bibliographies on American prison history, operations, populations, and issues.
Criminal Justice Call Number: Ref. HV 9471 .E425 1996

Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics
The most comprehensive compilation of data on all aspects of U.S. criminal justice. Most tables are reproduced exactly as they appeared in the original source, however, when possible latest data are combined with earlier data to show trends. Updated as data is compiled, so the online version is more current than the annual print version.
Dana Call Number: Ref HV 6787 .S68 (Latest edition: Ref Desk)]


History of Crime and Criminal Justice: Punishment
Bibliography of books and articles. Part of the Bibliography of Criminal Justice Sources.

Incarcerated Populations

Ruddell, Rick. America Behind Bars: Trends in Imprisonment, 1950 to 2000. New York, LFB Scholarly Pub., 2004.
Dana Call Number: HV9471.R83 2004

Total Correctional Population
Summary statistics, key findings, and links to reports. From the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Prisoners in .....
Data on State and Federal prison populations at year-end, population change from previous year, and prison growth rates. Prisoner gender breakdowns on December 31st. Also includes incarceration rates for the States, as well as prison capacities and the use of local jails, privately operated prisons, Federal, and other State facilities to house inmates. Based on data from the National Prisoner Statistics series. Series, 1994- .

New Jersey Offender Statistics
Reports from the New Jersey Department of Corrections. Data on correctional populations, offenders by base offense, by term, by age group, by race/ethnic identity, and by county of commitment. 2001-2006 available online. 1992- [(As Annual Offender Characteristics Report) available at DOCNJ HV 8482 .N5 O3381.

Gross, Samuel R. et. al. Exonerations in the United States 1989 Through 2003. April 19, 2004.
Study found 328 exonerations ("an official act declaring a defendant not guilty of a crime for which he or she had previously been convicted") over this 15 year period; more than half of those exonerated had served terms of 10 years or more.

Mauer, Marc. Comparative International Rates of Incarceration: An Examination of Causes and Trends. Presented to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. June 20, 2003.


Langan, Patrick A. Race of Prisoners Admitted to State and Federal Institutions, 1926-86. Washington, D.C., Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1991.
Dana Call Number: Ref. HV9665 .L36 1991

Kalogeras, Steven. Annotated Bibliography: Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System. Washington, D.C., The Sentencing Project, 2003.
Selective 12-page bibliography with lengthy annotations.

Tonry, Michael. Malign Neglect--Race, Crime, and Punishment in America. New York, Oxford University Press, 1995.
Dana Call Number: HV9950 .T66 1995

Blackmore, Edward. The Effect of Mandatory Minimum Sentencing on Black Males and Black Communities: Annotated Bibliography. 1998.

Need More?

Check IRIS, the Rutgers Libraries online catalog, and the Newark Law Library catalog. Some relevant subject searches you can use to locate books include:


Quick Facts: Women and Criminal Justice - 2009
Statistics from the Women's Prison Association Institute on Women & Criminal Justice.

Women in Prison: Issues and Challenges Confronting U.S. Correctional Systems. Washington, D.C., U.S. General Accounting Office, 1999.

Greenfeld, Lawrence A. and Tracy L. Snell. Women Offenders. Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report. December 1999. NCJ 175688.
Characteristics, background, drug and alcohol use, prior physical and sexual abuse, criminal history, current offenses, prosecution, and recindivism of adult women offenders.

Amnestry International. United States of America: Rights for All: ‘Not Part of My Sentence’:Violations of the Human Rights of Women in Custody. 1998.

Need More?

Check IRIS, the Rutgers Libraries online catalog, and the Newark Law Library catalog. Some relevant subject searches you can use to locate books include:


History of Crime and Criminal Justice: Juvenile Justice
Bibliography of books and articles on the history of juvenile justice. Part of the Bibliography of Criminal Justice Sources.

Clayton A. Hartjen and S. Priyadarsini. Delinquency and Criminal Justice: An International Bibliography. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2004.
Annotated bibliography covering period from 1975 to 2001 with emphasis on scholarly journals and government reports divided first into sections on behavior and justice and then by country.
Dana Call Number: Ref. HV9069 .H37 2004

Howard N. Snyder and Melissa Sickmund. Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 2006 National Report. National Center for Juvenile Justice, 2006.
Comprehensive source of information about juvenile crime, juvenile victims, juvenile offenders, arrests, detention, and sentencing, and juveniles in correctional facilities. Data in the National Report is updated via the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Statistical Briefing Book.

Jones, Michael A. and Barry Krisberg. Images and Reality: Juvenile Crime, Youth Violence, and Public Policy. San Francisco, National Council on Crime and Delinquency, 1994.
Report arguing that juvenile incarceration rates reflect policy choices and are not driven by the needs of public safety.
Criminal Justice Call Number: 61532

No Turning Back: Promising Approaches to Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities Affecting Youth of Color in the Justice System. October 2005.
A project of the Building Blocks for Youth initiative.

Burns, Barbara J. et. al. Treatment, Services, and Intervention Programs for Child Delinquents. Child Delinquency Bulletin Series, March 2003.

Need More?

Check IRIS, the Rutgers Libraries online catalog, and the Newark Law Library catalog. Some relevant subject searches you can use to locate books include:

Health Care

National Commission on Correctional Health Care. Position Statements

National Commission on Correctional Health Care. The Health Status of Soon-To-Be-Released Inmates: A Reprot to Congress. Volume 1. Volume 2. March 2002.
"The NCCHC commissioned a series of papers (summarized in volume 1 of this report and provided in full in volume 2) that documents indisputably that tens of thousands of inmates are being released into the community every year with undiagnosed or untreated communicable disease, chronic disease, and mental illness. Another set of commissioned papers clearly shows that it not only would be cost effective to treat several of these diseases, but in several instances, it would even save money in the long run."

HIV in Prisons and Jails Statistics on the number of HIV-positive and active AIDS cases among prisoners in State and Federal facilities. Annual report, 1993- .

Mental Health Care

Beck, Allen J. and Laura M. Maruschak. Mental Health Treatment in State Prisons, 2000. Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report, July 2001. NCJ 188215.

Barr, Heather. Prisons and Jails: Hospitals of Last Resort. The Need for Diversion and Discharge Planning for Incarcerated People with Mental Illness in New York New York, N.Y., The Correctional Association of New York and the Urban Justice Center, 1999.

The Children and Families of Prisoners

Glaze, Lauren E. and Laura M. Maruschak. Parents in Prison and Their Minor Children. Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report August 2008; Revised 1/8/09.

Mumola, Christopher J. Incarcerated Parents and Their Children. Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report. August, 2000. NCJ 182335.
Statistics on number and characteristics of State and Federal prisoners with minor children; household composition of inmate parents; frequency and type of contact with the minor children; and prisoner offenses, sentence length, criminal histories, drug use, mental health status, and pre-arrest employment and income.

Children With Parents in Prison: Child Welfare Policy, Program & Practice Issues. New Brunswick, N.J., Transaction Publishers, 2001.
Criminal Justice Call Number: 82164

Johnston, Denise and Michael Carlin. When Incarcerated Parents Lose Contact with Their Children
Originally published in the February 2004 issues of Prison Legal News.

Travis, Jeremy and Michelle Waul. “Prisoners Once Removed: The Children and Families of Prisoners,” IN Prisoners Once Removed: The Impact of Incarceration and Reentry on Children, Families and Communities. Washington, D.C., 2003. Chapter 1.

Bloom, Barbara and David Steinhart. Why Punish the Children? : A Reappraisal of the Children of Incarcerated Mothers in America. San Francisco, National Council on Crime and Delinquency, 1993.
Dana Call Number: HV8886.U5B5 1993

Addressing the Needs of Children of Incarcerated Parents. Public Hearing before the New Jersey Assembly Family, Women, and Children's Services Committee, March 21, 2002. Trenton, N.J., Office of Legislative Services, 2002.

Family and Corrections Network (FCN)
"An organization for and about families of prisoners." Includes online library of materials relating to children of prisoners and one relating to incarcerated fathers; links to research materials on corrections and families; and a directory of state and national programs.


Serving Families of Adult Offenders: A Directory of Programs. Edited by James W. Mustin. Washington, D.C., National Institute of Corrections, 2002.
State by state directory of programs in the U.S. and Canada that offer services for families of adult offenders.

Hanlon, Thomas E., Carswell, Steven B. and Rose, Marc. "Research on the Caretaking of Children of Incarcerated Parents: Findings and Their Service Delivery Implications," Children and Youth Services Review 29(3), March 2007, 348-362.
Off-Campus Link Restricted Access

Services for Families of Prison Inmates. Special Issues in Corrections February 2002.
Results of a March 2001 survey of state, territorial and federal department of corrections. "The survey addressed two separate but related issues: the degree to which agencies have specifically focused on support for family relationships and/or intervention with children of inmates, and the types of programs and assistance provided for inmates and their families or children."

Need More?

Check IRIS, the Rutgers Libraries online catalog, and the Newark Law Library catalog. Some relevant subject searches you can use to locate books on the the children and families of prisoners include:

Released to What? Life After Prison

Invisible Punishment: The Collateral Consequences of Mass Imprisonment. Edited by Marc Mauer and Meda Chesney-Lind. New York, New Press, 2002
Dana Call Number: HV9950.I59 2002.

Clear, Todd R. Imprisoning Communities: How Mass Incarceration Makes Disadvantaged Neighborhoods Worse. New York, Oxford University Press, 2007.
Dana Call Number: HV9950.C55 2007

Imprisoning America: The Social Effects of Mass Incarceration. Edited by Mary Pattillo, David Weiman, and Bruce Western. New York, Russell Sage Foundation, 2004.
Dana Call Number: HV8705.I455 2004

After Prison: Roadblocks to Reentry: A Report on State Legal Barriers Facing People with Criminal Records. New York, N.Y., The Legal Action Center, 2004.
Additional information on the findings of this two-year study by the Legal Action Center is available at, including information on each states legal barriers to adoptive and foster parenting, access to criminal records, drivers' license privileges, employment, public assistence and food stamps, public housing, and the right to vote:

After Prison: Roadblocks to Reentry: 2009 Update

Hirsch, Amy E. et. al. Every Door Closed: Barriers Facing Parents with Criminal Records. Washington, D.C., Community Legal Services, Inc., and the Center for Law and Social Policy, 2002.
Chapters on the effect of a criminal record on employment, public benefits, housing, parental rights, and education, as well as issues faced by immigrants.

Human Rights Watch. No Second Chance: People with Criminal Records Denied Access to Public Housing. New York, N.Y., 2004.
"Exclusions from public housing are among the harshest of a range of punitive laws that burden people with criminal records."

Allard, Patricia. Life Sentences: Denying Welfare Benefits to Women Convicted of Drug Offenses. Washington, D.C., The Sentencing Project, February 2002.
"Section 115 of the [1996] welfare reform act...stipulates that persons convicted of a state or federal felony offense involving the use or sale of drugs are subject to a lifetime ban on receiving cash assistance and food stamps."

John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development. Employment Opportunities for Ex-Offenders in New Jersey. New Brunswick, N.J., Rutgers-The State University of New Jersey, April 8, 2003.

Need More?

Check IRIS, the Rutgers Libraries online catalog, and the Newark Law Library catalog. Some relevant subject searches you can use to locate books on the the consequences of imprisonment include:

Natalie Borisovets (
John Cotton Dana Library
January 29, 2006
Rev. January 26, 2010