The word “Criminology” is derived from the Latin word “Crimen”, which means accusation, and the transliterated Greek Logia that denotes it as “the study of”.
Therefore, the Criminology is the study of crime, further detailing it can be defined as the study of law enforcement and the criminal justice system.
Criminology is a branch of sociology and has been studied for thousand years in one way or the other. The criminology has recently been recognized as a scientific discipline in its own right.
Definitions and Theories
Criminology is the scientific study of crime that includes the causes of crimes, its responses by law enforcement and methods of prevention. This study of crime is considered to be the branch or sub-group of sociology, which is the study of social behavior.
Just like sociology has a branch called Criminology, the criminology in itself has several sub-groups that include Penology, bio criminology, Feminist criminology, criminalistics that deals with different studies associated with crime.
Talking about the evolution of the study of criminology, though the criminology has evolved over 250 years we can still go to the prison for stealing a slice of Pizza in some states.
In criminology perceiving the fact that why people commit a crime is very important in the ongoing debate of how the crime can be handled and prevented. For which, the study of criminology embraces various theories is continuously exploring for more individually and in combination, as seeking the best solutions in ultimately reducing levels and types of crimes is what the criminologist seeks.
Here is a broad view of a few theories embraced by criminology:
- Rational choice theory
Though having acknowledged the potential risks that include getting caught and punished, people commit crimes against rewards that is the general act in their self-interest.
- Social disorganization theory
The physical and social environments of a person are primary facets responsible for the behavioral choices they make. Especially a neighborhood with fraying social structures may have high crime rates because of poor schools, unemployment, vacant and vandalized buildings, and a mix of residential and commercial property.
- Strain theory
This theory stresses the distribution of opportunities or says equality of abilities. Most of the people may have similar aspiration but do not have the same opportunities. When individuals fail to achieve the society’s expectations through hard work and delayed gratification then they attempt to achieve success through crimes.
- Social learning theory
Association of the people they are living with or getting inspired by is what this theory emphasizes. Most of the people, especially young blood develops their motivation to commit a crime and the skills to commit them to form the people they are associated with.
- Social control theory
It can be said if the society controls are properly placed then the crime rate can be controlled. Most people commit a crime if not for the controls the society places on people or individuals such as institutions, schools, churches, families, and workplaces.
- Labeling theory
The supreme power of labeling an act as crime is what this theory is all about. People with the authority decide what acts are crimes and the act of labeling a person as a criminal is what makes him a criminal and once that happens to someone all his rights, and opportunities are taken away by the society which may ultimately lead to more of criminal behavior.
- Biology, Genetics, and Evolution
Mental illness, poor diet, bad brain chemistry and also the evolutionary rewards for criminal conduct have proposed an explanation for the crimes.
How is a Criminology Degree useful?
Pursuing criminology develops the understanding of the personal and social facets of committing a crime, victimization, and responses to the crime. Also, the study builds specific skills such as critical thinking, making a reasoned argument and ethical judgments.
Through a criminology degree, one can specialize in a number of areas and improve the police activities and functions according to the law and administration.
There are a lot of criminology careers available in society. As a criminology graduate with analytical skills and communication skills, you are more attractive to the recruiters both outside and inside the criminal justice sector.
What can I do with the Criminology Degree
The Criminology careers are boundless both inside and outside the criminal sector as the skills the criminology graduate acquires while graduating is far more practical than any other academic course graduate acquires.
The most preferable and notable criminology career a criminology graduate with criminology majors have is obviously a “Criminologist”.
A criminologist trains himself adequately in all the social skills and police activities. They work in a variety of environments that include colleges and universities, Think-tanks, public policy areas, and legislative areas.
A criminologist can work in the colleges and universities as professors or advisors that acknowledges the young students of various aspects of crime and their prevention. A criminologist can also work closely with the police departments to help them better serve their communities.
Becoming a forensic psychologist is another fascinating career field a criminology graduate can opt for. The forensic psychologists work in different environments that include expert witness, a prison psychologist, jury consultant, criminal profiler, and psychological investigate services.
In order to work as a forensic psychologist, a doctorate in psychology or a master’s degree will be necessary for addition any undergraduate degree is needed as well.
More Criminology Careers
There are many other criminology careers available to the criminology graduates in criminology majors. Some of them are
- Insurance fraud investigator
- Security specialist
- Corrections Officer
- Private investigator
- Police officer
- Loss prevention specialist
- Forensic science technician
- Probation and community control officer
The criminology graduates can find jobs in such services in addition, a degree in criminology lays the foundation for other careers as well such as a counselor, attorneys, and social workers.
Since the crime has its impacts nearly on every facet of the society, as a result, every industry has a need for the investigating services, fraud protection, and loss prevention.
Hence, there’s a lot of scope, folks!