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Criminal Justice Theories: Books on theories

Criminologists utilize theories to analyze an issue or test a hypothesis. This introductory guide directs students to books that will assist them in learning about some of these theories.

About this page

The titles on this page are both eBooks and in-print titles. The eBooks have links to the titles, the titles without links and with call numbers (e.g. HG123.T5) are in-print books.

Each box focuses on a theory associated with Criminal Justice, provides a brief explanation of each theory, and a book on that theory that the library owns.

Biological Theories...

A crime is committed for a physiological reason (e.g. Adolescents have not yet developed the mental reasoning of adults.)

Criminal Justice Theories...

Explore the theories surrounding punishment. Criminal Justice Theories are also used to research the history or evolution of Criminal Justice ideologies.

Legal Theories...

Examine when the law itself leads to crime.  (e.g. Until recently a right turn on red was illegal but many broke the law by making the turn. Why?)

Organizational Theories...

Explore how the complexities of the organization (e.g. a police precinct) motivate those operating within the organization.

Psychological Theories...

Examine how an individual's personality may make them predisposed to committing criminal acts (e.g. depression or other mental illness.)

Sociological Theories...

Focus on the social conditions that lead to crime (e.g. Do abusive parents model violent behavior to children?)