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Advancing Criminology Notes for CSS Exam 2018
Edited by Mohsin Raza, Rana Uzair, and Aamir Mahar
CRIMINOLOGY Theories, Patterns, and Topologies
by Larry J. Siegel, University of Massachusetts, Lowell
Criminology (Teaching Material)
Prepared by: Mrs. Glory Nirmala.k
AN INTRODUCTION TO CRIMINOLOGY
COMPILED BY MOHSIN RAZA
The word ‘Criminology’ originated in 1890. The general meaning of the term is the scientific study of crime as a social phenomenon, of criminals and of penal institutions. Prof. Kenny described that “Criminology is a branch of criminal science which deals with crime causation, analysis and prevention of crime”. Criminology as a branch of knowledge is concerned with those particular conducts of human behavior which are prohibited by society. It is, therefore, a socio-legal study which seeks to discover the causes of criminality and suggests remedies to reduce crimes. Therefore, it flows that criminology and criminal policy are interdependent and mutually support one another. Thus, criminology seeks to study the phenomenon of criminality in its entirety.
The problem of crime control essentially involves the need for a study of the forces operating behind the incidence of crime and a variety of co-related factors influencing the personality of the offender. This has eventually led to the development of modern criminology during the preceding two centuries. The purpose of study of this branch of knowledge is to analyze different aspects of crime and devise effective measures for treatment of criminals to bring about their re-socialization and rehabilitation in the community. Thus, criminology as a branch of knowledge has a practical utility in so far as it aims at bringing about the welfare of the community as a whole.
The principles of criminology serve as effective guidelines for formulation of penal policy. The modern clinical methods and the reformatory measures such as probation, parole, indeterminate sentence, open prisons, and other correctional institutions are essentially an outcome of intensive criminological researches during the twentieth century. These measures have sufficiently demonstrated the futility of dumping offenders inside prisons and infliction of barbaric punishments. Prof. Gillin has rightly
observed that it is not the humanity within the criminal but the criminality within the human being which needs to be curbed through effective administration of criminal justice. More recently, criminologists and penologists seem to have agreed that ―individualization of the offender should be the ultimate object of punishment, while treatment methods, the means to attain this end‖.
The study of crime and criminal must proceed on a scientific basis by carefully analyzing various aspects associated therewith and must necessarily suggest measures proposed to suppress criminality. It must be added that with new crimes emerging in the modern complexities of life, we seem increasingly concerned about the problem of crime. Today destructive acts of vandalism, highway, train and bank robberies, looting, bomb blasts, rape, illegitimate terrorist activities, white-collar crimes, cybercrimes, criminalization of politics, hijacking, etc., are constantly increasing which have posed a positive danger to human life, liberty and property. Modern criminologists, therefore, seem to be seriously concerned with the problem of crime to protect society from such anti-social activities of criminals. It is for this reason that the two sister branches of criminal science, namely, criminology and penology work hand in hand to appreciate the problem of criminality in its proper perspective.
Nature and Scope of Criminology:
Criminology is an inter-disciplinary field of study, involving scholars and practitioners representing a wide range of behavioral and social sciences as well as numerous natural sciences. Sociologists played a major role in defining and developing the field of study and criminology emerged as an academic discipline housed in sociology programs. However, with the establishment of schools of criminology and the proliferation of academic departments and programs concentrating specifically on crime and justice in the last half of the 20 century, the criminology emerged as a distinct professional field with a broad, interdisciplinary focus and a shared commitment to generating knowledge through systematic research.
One ultimate goal of criminology has been the development of theories expressed with sufficient precision that they can be tested, using data collected in a manner that allows verification and replication.
As a subdivision of the larger field of sociology, criminology draws on psychology, economics, anthropology, psychiatry, biology, statistics, and other disciplines to explain the causes and prevention of criminal behavior. Subdivisions of criminology include penology, the study of prisons and prison systems; bio-criminology, the study of the biological basis of criminal behavior; feminist criminology, the study of women and crime; and criminalistics, the study of crime detection, which is related to the field of Forensic Science. Much research related to criminology has focused on the biological basis of criminal behavior. In fact, bio-criminology attempts to explore the biological basis of criminal behavior. Research in this area has focused on chromosomal abnormalities, hormonal and brain chemical imbalances, diet, neurological conditions, drugs, and alcohol as variables that contribute to criminal behavior.
Criminology has historically played a reforming role in relation to Criminal Law and the criminal justice system. As an applied discipline, it has produced findings that have influenced legislators, judges, prosecutors, lawyers, Probation officers, and prison officials, prompting them to better understand crime and criminals and to develop better and more human sentences and treatments for criminal behavior.
Criminologists also study a host of other issues related to crime and the law. These include studies of the Victims of Crime, focusing upon their relations to the criminal, and their role as potential causal agents in crime; juvenile delinquency and its correction; and the media and their relation to crime, including the influence of Pornography.