Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Criminologist Definition:

A sociologist who specializes in the study of crime as a social phenomenon.

Related Terms: Criminalist

Criminology is the the scientific analysis of criminal behavior, of criminalization processes and of the processes of social control.1

The University of Pennsylvania describes criminology as follows:

"Criminology is the scientific study of the criminal law: its making, breaking, and enforcing."

Criminologists are a species of sociologists who study criminal behavior, causes, and control as it relates to culture and society. They study things like recidivism rates, socio-economic stressors on criminal behavior, and the consequences of criminal activity on society.

criminologyAn authoritative text book on the subject published in 1963 and written by Edwin Hardwin Sutherland offered:

"Criminology is the body of knowledge regarding crime as a social phenomenon. It includes within its scope the processes of making laws, of breaking laws, and of reacting toward the breaking of laws....

"The objective of criminology is the development of a body of general and verified principles and of other types of knowledge regarding this process of law, crime, and treatment."

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