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Criminology : Definition and Classifications

Criminology comes from the Latin word “crimen” meaning “accusation” and Greek word “Logia”

Criminology Definition – 

Criminology may be defined as “the scientific study of the causation, correction, and prevention of crime”(coined by a law professor named Raffaele Garofalo). It investigates as why a particular crime took place in the first place and how can it be handled. It also includes studying the aftermaths of a crime happening and how it affects the criminal. Criminology is closely related to the law since the judiciary needs to decide a fitting punishment for those who are guilty under the eyes of the law. Moreover, the law also helps in the prevention of any such crime in the future, so that people can co-exist safely.


Criminology is related to more than one branch of knowledge, i.e. it is interdisciplinary in nature. It is not only related to natural science but also a social science. In fact, sociology plays an important role in the field of criminology. It is also related to Economics psychology, statistics, anthropology, and biology. One of the main aims is to experiment, test, and find proper reasoning.

Subdivisions of Criminology include

Penology: It deals with the prisoners and their manner of behavior in a prison system.

Feminist Criminology: This branch deals with the crime committed by women.

Bio- Criminology: Criminology is related to the biological background of how a criminal behaves.

Criminalistics: This is related to forensic sciences. It helps in crime detection by tracing a criminal’s every movement.

The relation of Criminology to Law

In the field of law, criminology has helped in finding the underlying reason and evidence so that the judge could give a suitable punishment to the criminal. It has helped prosecutors, judges, lawyers, and prison officers in looking at producing findings.

There are a lot of studies when we conglomerate the two fields together. To name a few- victims of crimes, juvenile delinquency, and possibly causing agents of crime.


Criminology has the characteristic to bring these kinds of people together:

Professors and teachers who teach the very subject, even those who write articles on it or research papers. People working in the criminal justice system as researchers.

Those who continuously strive to work for the betterment in the field of criminology and discover more ways of providing criminal justice.

Criminology is a part of Applied Sciences because it dives into various concepts and principles that are not only used in this field but also in sociology, economics, medicine, etc.

Criminology is a Social Science because it has a way of studying crime in relation to social phenomena. This is because crime is a part of society and needs to be studied in that relation.

Criminology is also nationalistic in nature because it takes the history, social norms, culture, and law of the country into consideration.


Criminology is a world of its own with its hands stretching to innumerable other fields. It is important because it not only helps to reduce the crime rates in society but helps one understand what somebody goes through to commit something heinous or horrendous. All one can say is, there’s always more place to investigate, understand, research, and find something interesting when it comes to criminology.


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