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Poverty Law

Resources for getting started on research related to laws and legal issues impacting the poor.


National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls

This national organization focuses on prison reform and ending mass incarcerations in the United States with the focus on incarceration of women and girls. 

Vera Institute of Justice

This organization is dedicated to ending the overcriminalization and mass incarceration of minorities and those living in poverty.

Equal Justice Under Law

Through policy reform and public outreach, this organization seeks to end the criminalization of poverty due to systemic inequalities within the justice system. 


From Social Justice to Criminal Justice: Poverty and the Administration of Criminal Law by William C. Heffernan & John Kleinig (Oxford University Press, 2000)

Collection of essays from legal and political scholars examining issues of disparate treatment of impoverished populations in the criminal justice system. (USC Libraries)


Cycles of Poverty and Crime in America's Inner Cities by Lewis D. Solomon (Transaction Publishers, 2012)


Provides an overview of rehabilitative and reentry policies, programs, and strategies for the previously incarcerated. (USC Libraries)  


From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America by Elizabeth Hinton (Harvard University Press, 2016)

An account on how the United States became the home of the world's largest prison system, starting at the height of the 1960s civil rights era. (USC Libraries)


Not a Crime to be Poor: The Criminalization of Poverty in America by Peter B. Edelman (New Press, 2017)

This book explores the intersection of race and poverty and how the criminal justice system often confines minorities and the poor to a life of incarceration. (USC Libraries)


Criminology: An Interdisciplinary Journal

A publication of the American Society of Criminology that is devoted to the analysis of the causes of crime. (USC Libraries)

Criminal Justice Review

A peer-reviewed scholarly journal that presents broad perspectives on criminal justice issues in the United States. (USC Libraries)

Justice Quarterly

An academic journal that explores a range of topics within criminology and criminal justice. (USC Libraries)


Criminal Justice & Criminology

This HeinOnline database contains links to periodicals, books, and government reports related to criminology and the criminal justice system. 

Data & Statistics

FBI: Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR)

The Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program provides crime data "from more than 18,000 city, university and college, county, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies."

USC Digital Accessibility