Criminology is a subject that focuses on the criminal judiciary system and law enforcement. It requires you to analyze the illegal behavior of individuals and study methods of crime prevention.
In most cases, an individual looking to work in the field of criminal justice would first need to acquire a degree in criminology. It is also important to understand that while there is an obvious connection between the fields of criminology and criminal justice, they are not exactly the same.
The basics of criminology
Criminology combines psychology and social science with criminal law. While working as a criminologist, you would need to assess the various causes behind the criminal activities among a range of different groups. In addition to this, you may also engage in the investigation of factors like education, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and race and how they may have an impact on crime incidents. Students of criminology are also often required to review the success rates and history of various methods of law enforcement.
To put it simply, criminology involves the adoption of a social viewpoint for studying crimes. This means assessing the causes, social impact, and the actual criminals related to a crime incident. The aim of a criminologist, while studying criminology, is to gain a better understanding of the motivations of a criminal when he/she enacts a crime. Some of the common areas of study include:
- Social responses to crime
- Theories justifying deviant and/or illegal behavior
- Impact of various anti-crime policies
- Social control in the political landscape
Job opportunities for criminologists
You might be wondering ‘Who employs criminologists?’ Well, several law enforcement organizations need the help of criminologists on a regular basis for criminal profiling. This helps them get a clearer perspective on the motivations and rationale behind such criminal behavior.
As a criminologist, you would often work towards getting answers as to what actually happens in courtrooms, on streets, in prisons, and in a police station. With a background in social sciences, you would be able to use your expertise to accurately assess the effectiveness and impact of laws, proposals, and policies.
After getting a degree in the field of criminology, you would have plenty of professional opportunities at your disposal. You could establish a career in criminal justice or even pursue further studies in fields like forensic psychology.
There is enough evidence to suggest that criminology has helped improve criminal justice systems all over the world, and this includes how we respond to crime and treat both criminals and victims.