Sociology careers in Criminal Justice

Criminology 180x180Criminology is essentially a branch of Social Science which applies scientific principles to the study to crime, criminal behavior, and punishment. In essence, it’s a branch of behavioral science in which crime is the behavior that is studied.

The field began in the late 18th century as a reaction to prison systems that were extremely harsh, and geared solely to retribution. Since then it has broadened to include study of the very nature of crime and criminals, including the factors that tend to increase or reduce crime.

Compared to the Criminal Justice Degree

As a general statement, Criminology is a more theoretical field than Criminal Justice. Criminology focuses on the broadest social aspects of crime: what makes people commit crimes, what social policies and programs can prevent or minimize criminal activity, and what forms of punishment are effective in preventing repeat crimes?

Criminal Justice, on the other hand, focuses on the more immediate aspects of criminal activity: police work to prevent, investigate and solve crimes; administration of correctional programs (from jails and prisons to probation and parole); running jails and prisons; providing security in courts, other public buildings, public events, and the like; and so on.

The difference between Criminology and Criminal Justice is clear at a theoretical level, but the two fields are closely related—both obviously deal with the broad subject of crime. Many schools have taken to combining the two fields into a degree in “Criminology and Criminal Justice.”

Typical Criminology Coursework

Course work in Criminology always includes the history and general principles of criminology, along with an array of courses that focus on inter-disciplinary fundamentals, like economics, psychology, sociology and the law. Students also study of the analytical tools used in the field (statistical analysis, research methods, etc.).

It's Interesting

  • The University of Cincinnati College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services is a college of the University of Cincinnati and is located in Teachers College and Dyer Hall on the university's main campus in Cincinnati, Ohio. The college, referred to as CECH, is composed of three schools: Criminal Justice, Education, and Human Services...

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