Criminology, the scientific study of criminal trends in both the individual and society, falls into the categorical behavioral sciences, including psychology, psychiatry, social anthropology, sociology, and law. Criminologists perform research based upon the situational basis of a crime. Some of these areas of research include forms of crimes, causes, incidence, and the potential consequences involved in the crime itself. Others may examine how social, governmental, and intergovernmental authorities regulate and react to crime. Criminologists employ quantitative methods to study the distribution and cause of criminal behavior. Raffaele Garofalo, an Italian law professor, first coined the term criminology in 1885.
Since the mid-18th century, several social philosophers entertained the thought of criminal behavior and lawful concepts. As a result, several schools of thought have evolved, including Classical, Positive, and Chicago paradigms. Contemporary formulations may also include sub-cultural, control, critical, cultural, and postmodern criminology. Additionally, each school of thought disseminates information based on established criminal theories, including functionalism, psychoanalysis, Marxism, econometrics, postmodernism, and systems theory. Critics often object to altering viewpoints based on whether the researchers include all of the underlying causes of criminal mischief, including poverty, abusive childhood, physical health, psychological health, geographical conditions, and cultural and societal influences.
Criminology enables and empowers law enforcement to narrow down criminal trends and concentrate on more troubling areas. While no area of society is immune to crime, there are often indicators of rampant criminal activity that needs special attention. This also allows law enforcement to work with federal, local, municipal, and neighboring authorities to effectively curtail and immobilize organized crime. Criminologists may become police officers, federal agents, state medical examiners, therapists, psychologists, forensic specialists, and researchers. Incidentally, criminologist researchers could work with media outlets to alert the public of patterns in criminal cases to capture assailants. Criminologists must incorporate a variety of skills, including communication, listening, analysis, and research skills to accomplish the assignment. Innate traits must also include having a creative, analytical, and ethical mind. Prospective students should obtain an undergraduates degree or higher to compete for higher paying jobs. An advanced degree will accommodate qualified applicants with high-profile careers.
Links to information on theoretical developments in criminology and biographies of individual theorists.
Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics:
Statistics and records on criminal justice systems, public attitudes towards crime, nature of known offenses, and more.
National Crime Victimization Survey Resource Guide:
A collection of data on personal victimization that has been organized since 1973.
The Socio Web:
A guide to finding sociological resources on the Internet including dictionaries, online journals, surverys, and statistics.
The Crime Index:
Internet crime archives that contains data on past serial killers and other criminals.
A list of Internet sites for study in the field and sub-fields of sociology.
An interactive photographic site that shows cities designed with crime prevention in mind and some that were not.
Introduction: The Bearing of Sociological Theory on Criminological Research:
A research paper addressing how sociological theory affects the judgment of criminological researchers.
Federal Bureau of Investigation: Behavioral Science:
The FBA presents an article that introduces behavioral science in the law enforcement field, including criminology, which examines every aspect behind a crime.
Criminalists: Forensic Science Technicians:
A comprehensive article explaining the nature behind a career as a forensic science technician, also known as a criminalist.
The Science of Criminology: Sociological, Psychological and Psychiatric Analysis of the Dark Side:
A research study involving the focus on the sociological, psychological, and psychiatric issues behind criminal behavior.
Criminology and Forensics:
This article explains the role of forensic geology in the field of criminology.
Western Criminology Review:
An authoritative journal distributed by Sonoma college.
Critical Criminology Information Service:
An educational organization providing the most important elements of criminological information service.
The British Journal of Criminology:
A world-renowned publication that examines criminal trends in societies across the globe, particularly the United Kingdom.
The Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Criminology:
A peer-reviewed journal that examines the theoretical and philosophical aspects of criminal behavior and trends.
A compilation of summaries describing sixteen different criminological theories.
What Criminological Theories Suggest:
A brief run down on the underlying reasons why people commit crime, including innate rationality, hedonism, and individual liberty.
Criminology: The Study of Crime and Behavior:
An outline of criminological theory and how crime impacts a society and the individual who commits it.
Criminological theory provides the basis for law enforcement to implement new policy making.
Peacemaking Criminology: Challenges and Possibilities:
An introduction to peacemaking criminological theories and the obstacles that stand in the way of positive results.
The New Regulatory State and the Transformation of Criminology:
An abstract paper describing how government regulation transforms the field of criminology.
A research paper examining how modern criminological study excludes common societal problems contributing to explosion of crime, including poverty, malnutrition, state violence and corporate corruption.
The Problem of Stolen Goods Markets:
Community oriented policing directed towards theft, how to identify the problems, and resolutions for deterring it.