Criminal Justice and Criminology

Topics: Criminology, Criminal justice, Crime Pages: 2 (708 words) Published: May 11, 2010
Criminal Justice and Criminology
Criminology is defined as the scientific study of the nature, extent, cause and control of criminal behavior. Criminology is an interdisciplinary field in the behavioral sciences most commonly drawing its research from the field of sociology but also psychology, economics, political science, natural science and criminal justice. (Siegel, 2008, p. 2) Criminal Justice is defined as agencies of social control such as the police departments, the courts, and correctional institutions that handle criminal offenders. (Siegel, 2008, p. 2) Our courts, law enforcement and correctional institutions work together under the rule of law for the main purpose of maintaining order in society. In this paper I will attempt to demonstrate how without the studies of Criminology, there would be no Criminal Justice, rule of law or order within our society. Criminal Justice and Criminology

For the period of 1200 – 1600, people that deviated from the norm or practiced alternative religious rituals were believed to have been possessed by demons or were believed to be witches. Their punishment for these violations was cruel and unusual including whipping, branding, maiming and execution (Siegel, 2008, p. 2). It was not until the period of 1738 – 1794 that an Italian scholar named Cesare Beccaria believed in a concept called utilitarianism; it fundamentally stated that in society a person has free will to choose criminal or lawful behavior to satisfy their needs or settle their problems. Beccaria also believed that criminal behavior may be more attractive than lawful behavior because it may require less work and have a greater payoff. The only way to discourage a person’s choice of criminal behavior is to instill a fear of punishment (Siegel, 2008, p. 3). To deter society from unlawful behavior, forms of punishment must be sufficient and effective, prompt but necessary, fair and balanced as well as dictated by law, (Siegel, 2008, p. 2...

References: Criminology: The Core, 3 Edition, Larry J. Siegel; Cengage Learning, 2007
Explaining Crime; Maxim, Paul S.; Whitehead, Paul C.; Nettler, Gwynn, Boston Butterworth-Heinemann, 1998
What Works in Corrections; Doris Layton MacKenzie, Cambridge University Press, 2006
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