When thinking about what criminology is, an individual needs to first consider what aspects and fields are affected by the criminal element. Some of these fields will also either perpetuate or deter crime, depending on how they are used. Anthropology, sociology, law, research positions and others all tie into criminology. Criminology could then be defined as how any of these many multitudes of society’s development and creation are able to affect how individuals interact, specifically when it comes to the degenerate element. Using science to approach the evolution of crime within an area or timeframe allows individuals to learn how an environment may respond to and otherwise affect crime. Certain things can be analyzed in order to come to a conclusion about crime and the criminal element within a particular area, such as any hereditary elements that may have had a factor or psychological issues that would have instigated the crime. In addition, many criminologists are also interested in studying how the punishment of criminals affects the likelihood of the same crimes being performed.
When people’s actions or movements deviate from the normal status of things in a way which is excessively harmful or dangerous to themselves or others, criminologists may become involved in the situation. By studying both crime and the law, an academic person can come up with possible motivations for an individual’s actions. These theoretical explanations are often helpful when profiling a person who has yet to be caught by the police, as well as when statistics are needed in order to illustrate a trend or issue for a community. However, it is not just crimes that are studied and analyzed by the criminologist. In addition, they also look at the criminal justice system on a whole in order to make sure that it is functioning in a sufficient manner that benefits the lives of citizens.
The definition of criminology is broad in order to encompass all of the different fields that fall under the term. However, by being more specific in the type of criminology that is being investigated, an individual is able to focus more on the individuals cornerstones of the different types of criminology that exist. For example, psychological criminology was a part of criminology for a long time but did not begin to be looked at on its own until the 20th century. This field looks at the abnormalities and mental diseases that may feed criminal behaviors. It is specialized in the way that proponents of this type of criminology believe that the personality of the individual is the breeding ground for the levels and types of crime that the individual will be capable of committing. Emotions and behavior patterns are often able to remain relatively stable and predictable regardless of what type of environment the individual is placed into, which helps academics to formulate the idea that this is what defines a person. Criminologists are able to look at crime and other related fields from different perspectives in order to analyze the cause and effect relationship of the crime, the individual and the environment in which they are immersed.