Answered By: Eleanor Johnson
Last Updated: May 06, 2015     Views: 13

Hi Marsha,

I tried searching in several databases to find information on your topic, and had the most luck in Academic Search Complete and JSTOR, though I also got a couple of results in America: History and Life. You may also want to search on Google Scholar, though make sure that it is linked up to Criss Library. (For information on that, see this guide from University of Toronto, but search for University of Nebraska instead.)

The search string I used was: (religio* freedom) AND (prison* OR jail OR correction*) AND ("native american" OR "native americans" OR "american indian" OR "american indians" OR "first nation" OR indigenous)

For JSTOR, I had to shorten this down to: (religio* freedom) AND (prison* OR jail) AND (native american OR american indian OR "first nation" OR indigenous)

To briefly explain this, in case you're not familiar with Boolean searching, I separated the three main ideas into different boxes or parentheses. Each topic is joined with an AND, which means that all of the topics have to be represented in the results (e.g., religious freedom AND prison includes only results that mention both of those terms.) Within each main idea, I used OR to think of as many different ways of saying the same thing as I could. Joining synonyms with OR means that either word can show up in results, which brings in more results (e.g., use Native American OR American Indian if you don't know which language is going to be used by databases/authors.) If you can think of or find additional ways to phrase these ideas, it will improve results. Asterisks * truncate the word, which means that it will include results with different word endings from where the asterisk is placed (e.g., religio* gets you religion or religious.) Quotation marks make the database take words as a phrase (e.g., "first nation" will refer to a group of people, rather than results that mention a nation and the word first.)

If you're interested in a broader look at religious freedom in prisons, remove the keywords about Native Americans and you will find a lot more results.

What is the timeliness of articles that you are willing to look at? There are more results if you are looking at a more historical perspective, but if you want to keep it current, you may want to limit the results to the past ten years or so.

Here are a few articles I found that might be useful to you:

If you have any questions about any of this, or would like to set up a time to meet and talk about your research, please don't hesitate to get a hold of me.

Eleanor Johnson

Social Sciences Librarian


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