Showing posts with label Criminology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Criminology. Show all posts

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Experiencing the Parallels between Victimology and Criminology

Photo: Flickr
All too often, society is inclined to allow criminals to receive leniency for their crimes as a result of the environment in which a person may have existed.  Even if the criminal was not influenced by their environment to commit the crime, the criminal is liable to adopt the persona of the victim in order to gain sympathy. 

This is often successful because when more well-off individuals are in the presence of those that are considered to be less fortunate, they may feel guilt.  In many cases, this guilt is not necessary.  However, if an individual begins to express their opinion that by adopting the role of a victim the criminal is dodging the responsibility of the crime, they will likely be criticized greatly for their thoughts.  

Victimology, even if it is sincere, is often a way in which individuals justify a crime to themselves and to others.  For example, one of the most commonly held beliefs within the United States of America is that of the great American dream, in which everyone is happy, living in a nice house and the parents have stable occupations making a comfortable living for their families.  This does not at all reflect the reality of inner-city slums and poor rural areas.  By clinging to the belief that no matter what, even without trying in some cases, individuals deserve to experience the American dream, they may be inclined to take what they feel they deserve rather than try to work for it.  Some people will rationalize that they have no means to work for this dream, and they had no choice but to act out in the way that they did.  However, this blaming of society does not change the reality of the situations.  By allowing one person to get away with a crime because of a victim mentality would be a slap in the face to the people that do work to succeed.  

Herein lays the most important parallel between victimology and Criminology. While it is simple to blame society for one’s troubles, this does not begin to solve the problem.  Individuals from all sides need to think about how society may impact the role of the criminal and to take steps in order to change things.  This way, when an individual tries to adopt a victim mentality, we can state as a society that there were other options.  By outlining the different options in such a setting, even more, people can be exposed to the ways in which society is working to stabilize equality between different categories of individuals and work to reduce crime as a product of environment or surroundings.  Criminology works to examine how society and the criminal interact, and this needs to be looked at under extreme scrutiny in order to find the causes of problems and work toward successful solutions.

There are also instances in which those who are perceived to be in a seat of power will become corrupt.  It is important to look at this too.  Individuals may attempt to adopt a victim role in this scene as well in order to appeal to the sympathetic public.  Aside from sociopaths, individuals have moral standards that will tell them what is wrong and what is right.  For anyone to adopt the role of the victim in order to gain sympathy is a ploy against the considerate nature of others.  When it comes to crime, the people that should be playing the role of the victim are those who were victimized during the act of the crime.  For individuals that live, they are many times much stronger than people may have believed them to be, and it is nauseating that the criminal will then try to adopt a role that the person they violated will not even take on in the courtroom.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

What is the American Society of Criminology?

The American Society of Criminology is one of the best references and sources of information regardless of where an individual life and what country is maintained as their place of residence.  Contrary to the implication in the name of the organization, the American Society of Criminology is actually an international organization that is open to many people.  Annually, the organization hosts a general meeting, and topics are discussed that seem appropriate in which everyone can take part.  The themes are generally vague, but still, give way to important topics.  Recently, the meeting has had the theme of “Criminology, Justice and Public Policy in the 21st Century”.  Since this type of conversation topic does not limit itself geographically, anyone is free to express their concerns or issues when it comes to these matters, as they feel the public will be affected by them in this coming century.  

In addition to offering annual talks for professors, legal-minded individuals and other academics interested in the various aspects of criminology, the law and sociological effects as a result of a crime, the American Society of Criminology is also geared towards helping these people.  There are employment opportunities at the meetings as well, and on their website, the American Society of Criminology actively updates their position and employment posting boards.  As a result, individuals that are going to be graduating from college with a Criminology degree can find on their website a wealth of information pertaining not only to available jobs and markets, but also a resource in the form of networking with like-minded individuals.

Members of the American Society of Criminology are able to enjoy different criminology journals and a newsletter.  The reading materials are helpful for all interested parties because they transmit the information that is changing and being expanded on in the legal and criminology arenas, and will often feature segments on various countries around the world.  There are some specialized regiments within the Society, and members sometimes interact with each other on these specialized levels.  This is again helpful for students looking to break into a specific niche after graduating and those who are particularly interested in specific areas of criminology.  One of the main functions of the Society is to educate people and investigate the many ways in which crime, the criminal element and society are related and dependent upon one another in various manners.  They are open to all willing individuals and encourage interested parties to join or investigate their organization at any point in time.

Within the Society, there is an Executive Board.  This is made up of the President, the President-Elect, the Immediate Past President, as well as the Vice President and the Vice President-Elect.  Those positions are elected.  There are also appointed officers, and these positions are made up of the executive secretary, as well as the treasurer and the editor for one of the Criminology Journals, known as Criminology: An Interdisciplinary Journal.  Six Executive Counselors are also added to the board.  These are the individuals that run the society on the whole; those who form policies, determine the specifics of the Annual Meeting and ratify the Society’s budget.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

How to Use Criminology and Forensic Science to Effectively Solve Crimes

Fingerprints are taken by William James Herschel 1859-1860 - Photo: Wikipedia
There are a number of ways in which an individual is able to couple criminology and the practices of forensic science in order to catch a criminal.  In some cases, the individual is profiled through criminology and matched up to the forensic evidence left at the scene of the crime.  

However, there are a number of other ways in which the two genres are used together in order to bring about justice within the penal system.  Criminology is the study of how science and environment affect the criminal mind, as well as the interaction between individuals or communities and the criminal element.  Forensic science is the area of study in which individuals are able to transform one small piece of information into something of substance.  In many cases, forensic scientists are able to use pieces of forensic evidence and what they learn from this piece in order to effectively illustrate either a link between an individual and the crime or an alibi for the individual wrongly accused of a crime.

A few major career focus areas for forensic scientists exist.  Criminology areas of expertise range as well, although they are all trained by learning the similar material in school.  Forensic science fields are especially diverse and offer unique benefits within each one.  Together, the members of the forensic science and criminology teams are able to work together in order to piece together their separate information to come up with one solution near completion, based on the facts they have all gathered. 

For example, a police officer working as a criminology expert may be able to psychologically profile a suspect, but they would require the help of a forensic scientist in order to match carpet fibres from the crime scene to carpet fibres in the suspect’s home or vehicle.  By linking together all the separate notions that each individual is able to learn, a complete or near complete timeline of the suspect and crime can be composed.  With enough evidence, this can be taken before a court and the trial will begin against the alleged suspect.

Some of the categories that exist for individuals involved in forensic work include medical examiners that inspect corpses, crime laboratory analysts that are able to look at the chemical and biological makeup of pieces of evidence, crime scene examiners, and those that assist in a technical or academic capacity.  Through the combination of these different branches, coupled with the work of criminologists, crimes can be pieced together in a more logical and straightforward way, in order to illustrate to juries and judges the events of the crime and suspected individual.  

This is especially important because in serious cases the jury has to be in agreement that there is no reasonable doubt on the part of the individual defendant’s role in the crime.  In other cases, the defence will use the forensic evidence in order to clear their defendant of the charge or charges against them.  By using virtually irrefutable evidence of a scientific nature, the jury and the judge are able to clearly see how crimes are or are not linked to the suspect.

Friday, October 27, 2017

How to Notice the Difference between CRIMINOLOGY and Psychology

Illustration from The Speaking Portrait, an article from Pearson's Magazine, 1901, illustrating the principles of Alphonse Bertillon's anthropometry - Photo: Wikimedia
Psychology is the scientific study of an individual’s behaviors and thoughts as a basis for their personality and reactionary processes.  There are many reasons that a person may be studied by a psychologist.  Sometimes, the people who are being studied are simply trying to find ways to move past a particular feeling or longing that they cannot seem to let go off on their own.  By using psychology and investing in the help that they can receive from a psychologist, a person can be shown the different ways in which they approach situations and learn to react differently and redefine their approaches to problems or stressors.  

In learning different habits as reaction processes, a person can learn to overcome different problems or feelings that they may have not been able to do at an earlier time, before being studied in the psychology field.  Psychologists tend to amass the information that they are able to gather from different subjects in order to learn about how the human mind operates in a general sense.  The information can be used also to notice the similarities and differences that exist between the individual mind and assessment of life.  

While Criminology is also the study of an individual’s behavior and thought process, there is a specific outcome that is being sought by the criminologist.  The individual’s actions and thoughts are being investigated in order to learn how that individual is able to either overcome or succumb to the different elements of crime that exist within an environment.  There are many different thoughts surrounding how a criminal comes to be.  Some believe a criminal is born with the natural instinct to be deviant while others believe that the criminal element is nurtured within an individual by specific environmental aspects.  Criminologists are often in the pursuit of why and how a person is able to act out in a way that is either hurtful to themselves or others.  They use their knowledge in order to provide a safe and comforting environment for the general public.

Psychological criminology is a specific branch of criminology that combines these two perspectives.  By using psychology as the only basis for the invention of the individual, criminologists are able to generate a profile of the perpetrator.  In looking at an individual’s actions or behavior patterns, psychological criminologists are able to see into the personality of the individual that is being tracked or studied.  This can help criminologists to analyze the pattern in order to cut the perpetrator off before they are able to perform their next criminal act if the individual is still on the loose, or it can help the criminologist to understand how the crime came to be, in effect determining the motive for the crime.  However, psychological criminologists are typically not the ones who will help criminals to move beyond their behavioral or mental deviants.  Instead, they generally use their knowledge in order to help others understand what the criminal did and why effectively helping to get answers out of the criminal that may be useful or necessary. 

By analyzing the mind, both criminologists and psychologists are attempting to gain insight into the individual.  While in some instances this is being done for the benefit of the individual, in other instances this is being done in order to keep the public at large safe from the individual.  

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Exploring the History of CRIMINOLOGY

To many people interested in the roots and origin of Criminology, Lombroso is considered to be the father of the science, meaning that he explored it and examined it from many angles in order to expose it.  It was first used by a law professor in Italy, Raffaele Garofalo, who actually used the Italian term for the word, criminologia.  A French anthropologist also used the term around the same time as Garofalo, who referred to the term as criminology.  

Three women in the pillory, China, Anonymous, ...
Three women in the pillory, China, Anonymous, c.1875 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are some who believe that it is possible that the study of bumps on an individual’s skull, referred to as Phrenology, is a better mark of representation when it comes to the scientific origins of the term.  Lombroso is considered to be the father of criminology because of the many advances that he attempted to make in the field.  If not for him, criminology might not be as developed as it is today. 

Over time, many different theories were composed as to what caused criminal behavior.  These theories have their roots in biology, psychology, and society, to name a few.  Over time, by using these foundations for new theories, different schools of thought began to emerge.  Through these different schools of thought, the theoretical science of the criminal element could be rationalized.  Individuals often debate in order to attempt to define the reason for crime, so that it may then be eliminated by solving the problem of what causes crime.  By identifying and responding to the motivator for crime and deviant behavior, more effective measures of social control could be put into action.  Currently, we are able to take care of the symptoms of crime.  For example, we have police officers who catch criminals.  When found guilty by a panel of their own peers, the criminal will go to jail.  That takes the criminal out of society.  However, there are new criminals emerging every day.  We have learned to treat the symptoms, the individual criminals, but we have not yet been able to determine the instigating factor in these developments.  

Throughout the history of criminology, this is the main goal of the science.  Since it is a theoretical science, all of the theories that correspond to the topic cannot immediately be proven as accurate or inaccurate, merely theoretical.  However, the continuous effort of individuals to idealize the workings of the individual and society have been transformed and re-defined since the beginning use of the term.  If the history of criminology shows us anything, it is that the human nature to establish right from wrong and the differences between individuals distinguishing the difference is virtually a timeless theme, at least since its birth.

By continuously researching and documenting the variables and changes within society and crime, people who are interested in criminology can line up the theories with the established facts.  After this is done, it is possible to sit down and analyze the coinciding factors in order to determine the best course of action when it comes to evolving society so as to limit crime and intolerance as much as possible.