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The Relationship Between Criminal Justice and Information

What do research and information analysis have to do with policing? What about information literacy?

We are constantly gathering information from the world around us, without even realizing we're doing it. When we investigate and explore information we are doing research. When we take that information and analyze and organize it, it becomes knowledge. We then use the knowledge and our experience to problem solve or to learn more. 

Like competency in any field or subject, information literacy requires being familiar with all of the aspects of information gathering and use. Characteristics of information literacy are knowing how much information you need to collect, how to find information most effectively, how to analyze information, and how to use information responsibly and ethically (be sure to cite your sources properly!) in a broader context. 

Whether you plan to become a police officer or to work in a related field, it's important that you become familiar with research and information analysis, and that you develop your information literacy skills. "Today, most law enforcement administrators strive to use (evidence)-based strategies to prevent and respond to crime and disorder" (Blevins, 2013). Evidence-based or quantitative information, in combination with experiential knowledge or qualitative information, are important in the field of criminal justice. Best-practices and best results are built on this paradigm.  


Blevins, K. (2013). The importance of research and analysis in policing. Retrieved from

Information literacy competency standards for higher education [PDF file]. (2000). Retrieved from​