Criminology is defined as “the scientific study of crime and criminal behavior, including their manifestations, causes, legal aspects, and control. ” (Schmeltzer, 2014). The most closely related and interacting discipline to Criminology would be Criminal Justice. Criminal Justice is defined as “The scientific study of crime, criminal law, the criminal Justice system, police, courts, and correctional systems. ” (Schmeltzer, 2014) Influencing elements in Criminology that must also be considered are Psychology, and Sociology, as Criminology looks into the causes and behavior of the crime more Han the effects of the crime.
By reviewing the psychological makeup of criminals’ minds and comparing similar patterns, criminologists can begin to form a psychological profile of the criminal. In reviewing the sociological aspects of a criminal’s life, including home life, economic status, social behaviors and personal interests, criminologists can predict criminals’ proclivity for committing certain crimes. Some would argue that sociological factors are causal affects of crimes, including economic, geographic, and early developmental patterns.
White & Witt, 2001) Additionally, although not highly thought of in the field of Criminology, some would include biological factors in the nature of a criminal. (Rained, 2002) Biological factors would include, among others, physical anomalies, hormonal imbalances, and brain damage. The psychological and sociological makeup of a criminal should never be underestimated or overlooked when looking to solve a crime. These are the factors that shape each criminal, but there is still the unknown factor of free will’ (Brisbane, 2012). Each person has the right to choose whether or not they commit a crime.
The sociological aspects can explain patterns, but it remains that it cannot explain why two people who grow up in exact same circumstances choose whether or not to perform a criminal act. Criminal Justice focuses more on the effects of the crime and then seeks to solve the crime, arrest the correct suspect, adjudicate the criminal, then determine and carry out the appropriate punishment for the crime that was committed. The basic components of criminal Justice systems are the police, prosecution, courts, and erections (Reid, 2012).
When solving crimes, the initial focus is on finding and collecting physical evidence which is performed by law enforcement officers and forensics agents. Upon collecting the physical evidence, the criminals can then use various forms of scientific tests to determine whether to prosecute the crime. These tests may rely heavily on forms of biological and other scientific testing, for example DNA, ballistics, fingerprinting, and other crime lab testing. These tests are highly Interdisciplinary Criminology – Overview By Cockamamie
Many crimes have been solved with DNA and fingerprinting alone – it was the last connection that placed a suspect on the scene of a crime. Without any eyewitnesses, police and investigators rely heavily on these particular tests to re-create crime scenes and explain what actually happened. The prosecutor and Court will decide whether evidence from an investigation can or should be included in the prosecution. Ultimately the Court will decide a criminal’s guilt or innocence, at which time an “appropriate punishment” will be decided based on the law and other ethical incinerations.
The laws governing crimes are derived through public policy and public outcry about situations, as well as being created through the Court. This is one of the reasons that different Jurisdictions have differing laws. As we review both of these disciplines we see that both rely heavily on many other forms of scientific disciplines, such as Sociology, Psychology, Ethics, Law, Psychiatry, Economics, Medicine, or Biology to solve crimes (Schmeltzer, 2014). So, in comparing how these disciplines work together to solve crimes, it is clear to see hat analyzing a crime from a purely theoretical standpoint would likely solve very few crimes.
Without physical evidence to substantiate the theories, prosecution could only be vague, and perhaps wrongfully convict suspects. On the other hand, to collect only physical evidence, while ignoring criminology theories would also leave many crimes unsolved. Having physical evidence, but not being able to look to patterns, social aspects, and human nature, would also not be enough to fully research crimes in order to narrow down and locate the correct suspect. Bibliography Brisbane,