Clifton Gray Jr.
CJ105 – Criminology
Professor Paul Ehrler
Course Project – Psychological and Psychiatric Theories
November 30, 2014
What is Criminology?
II. What is Criminology?
III. History of Criminology
IV. Types of Criminology Jobs
What Is Criminology?
It seems that criminology has become a major part in the role of criminal law that deals with the criminal justice system. In most cases it have dealt with applied disciplines and those findings have impacted in a variety of avenues such as in legislators or in probations offices. Defining criminology is very simple it is the scientific study of ...view middle of the document...
The creation of criminology as a field of study can be tracked as far back as the eighteenth century, when two social theorists, Cesare Beccaria in Italy and Jeremy Bentham in England, each pushed the idea that the punishment should be so severe that the criminal would decide that the pleasure of the criminal act would not be worth the pain of the punishment (Crowe, 2014). This was known as the classical school of criminology (Crowe, 2014).
As recently as twenty years ago a judge in California sentenced a man to prison for 25 years to life for stealing a slice of pizza (Crowe, 2014). The judge stated that his hands were tied because of the three-strike law, and the law would not allow for the judge to look at the specific crime (Crowe, 2014). This example follows the classical school of criminology theory that was developed over 200 years ago (Crowe, 2014).
During the early nineteenth century, criminologists started to argue that the classical school of criminology does not differentiate between varying degrees of crimes (Crowe, 2014). These criminologists were known as the positivists. The positivists believed that the punishment should fit the criminal, not the crime (Crowe, 2014).
Cesare Lombroso, Italian physician and psychiatrist, was a leader of the positivist theory (Crowe, 2014). He believed that criminals were born, not made, and that crime was a matter of nature, not nurture (Crowe, 2014). He conducted extensive studies on cadavers of executed criminals, coming up with the argument that certain facial features, such as very large jawbones and strong canine teeth, were obvious signs that an individual was or would be a criminal (Crowe, 2014). However, this theory became less popular for moral reasons and in favor of later theories focusing on environmental factors that contribute to criminal behavior (Crowe, 2014).
During the late nineteenth century, criminologists began to incorporate biology and statistics into their field of study (Crowe, 2014). Genetics was used to determine whether criminal behavior could be linked from one family member to another, and statistics was used to study population and crime (Crowe, 2014). In 1946 the Society for the Advancement of Criminology was created, which later became the American Society of Criminology, a scholarly and scientific organization aimed at studying prevention and causes of crime and treatment of criminals (Crowe, 2014).
During the twentieth century, two more theories in criminology were developed (Crowe, 2014). These theories are social-structural criminology and social-process criminology. Social-structural criminology studies how criminal behavior is affected by structures and/or social situations (Crowe, 2014). The idea behind this theory is that crime is a product of the deficiencies in social structure (Crowe, 2014).
What Is a Criminologist?
A criminologist is a sociologist or social scientist who 1) specializes in criminology and 2) studies social behaviors (Inglish,...