Personal Criminological Theory Criminological theory is an overview of issues from research methods. Criminological theory is important due to the wide variety of crimes and criminals. This theory reviews and analyzes the way many individuals view crime historically. The criminal justice system is complex and requires research and knowledge of victimology, causations of crime, the crime itself, and criminals that commit these crimes. Scientists base their theories on two simple forms of criteria, which are using systematic observation and objective evidence and determining rational explanations of evidence.
It is important, therefore, for criminologists to create an understanding to members of the society regarding the root cause of crime and what dictates the behaviour of individuals who are considered to be criminals (Tierney 2009). Criminology has often been defined as a field of study where scholars from different disciplines in the society come together to find answers to problems identified in the society. Sociological approaches, however, have influenced theoretical conclusions in criminology. That however has not limited other factors like biological factors as explained by Walsh (2000) and Wright and Boisvert (2009). Psychological theories in criminology have also determined a given level of perception developed by the society states Durrant and Ward (2012).
Research in the criminal justice field is important as it may help identify problem areas and also identify those that need improvement. Also, research may also be conducted to establish policy and principles that can be used as preventive measures. Furthermore, research sets the base for policy making as the implementation provides the opportunity for government agencies to work and operate. According to Garrison, “criminal justice research intends to interpret why crime occurs and in what ways the research could benefit crime reduction” (2009). All in all, criminal justice research has a strong, positive impact on how law enforcement agencies can fight crime and in turn, help reduce the use of financial means, other and provide guidance in doing the job in a correct manner.
Numerous approaches can be offered for this process, but profiling is a common tactic that has aided law enforcement in seeking justice for both suspects and victims. Although viewed negatively at times, law enforcement profiling is an effective tool for police officers that should not be abandoned due to infrequent and negligible invasions into an innocent person’s personal privacy. Suspect profiling has diverse backgrounds, intentions, and classifications that are demonstrated in various forms and allows law enforcement to evaluate and distinguish any probable evidence. With the following paragraphs I will provide detailed information on what ‘profiling suspects’ means in a law enforcement setting, the pros and cons of profiling, and the reasons why profiling should be used in law enforcement. Profiling Possible Suspects Although there have been many proposals offered to the logic behind criminals and how they act, the significance of profiling possible suspects are stressed upon by law enforcement in order to achieve and maintain a way to justify the means.
1. Criminology Criminology is the science of studying how laws are made, the breaking of laws, and the social reaction to the breaking of laws. Criminologists research past criminal events to contribute to decrease the crime rates and develop a society that is less vulnerable to criminal acts. There are different theories that have emerged over the years that have helped criminologists to get to solid conclusions on the relation between crime and society. The study of criminology is important because it helps society understand what the crimes are, and how criminals who commit this crimes are punished.
The groundwork of how the criminal justice system is laid today, despite some major tweaks and changes along the way, still has remnants of the classical school of criminology. With people having free will, an attraction to crime, the ability to possibly lower crime through fear of reprimand or punishment, and knowing that crime must be severe, certain, and swift, the components of the classical school of criminology are very helpful and powerful (Siegel, 2011, p. 9, para. 1). Specific deterrence is a great tool to use to show the criminal just how severe a punishment can be (Siegel, 2011, p. 100, para. 1).
Psychology is the scientific study of the human mind and its functions, particularly those that affect behavior in a certain context. It is a field of work with myriad branches such as neuropsychology, clinical psychology, educational and developmental psychology, health psychology, criminal psychology and many more. The study of psychology as a whole is a grand object of intrigue that I am not entirely familiar with, but very aware of. I have seen many educational psychologists help students in my past. Criminal psychology in particular is the study of the will, thoughts, intents, and reactions of criminals and whoever partakes in criminal activity.
Terms such as marginal costs, marginal benefits, and opportunity cost explain economic reasoning in more detail. Marginal costs and benefits are the additional cost and benefit to you respectively over and above those that you have already obtained. Opportunity cost is the cost forfeited by not selecting an option in favor of another. Insights in economics are the theories that have been discovered by economists that are useful in understanding trends. One of the most noted is the invisible hand theory.
Such as self report surveys, official crime reports statistics or victimization data. When those other methodologies were used to produced evidence, the social control theory suffers (Williams &McShane, 2014). Social control theory contained pieces from differential association, social disorganization, and anomie theory which made it more attractive to several other criminologists (Williams &McShane, 2014). In general the social control theories were somewhat methodology bound (Williams &McShane, 2014). The social control theory was probably one of the theories that mostly matched the public conception of why people became criminals and more relatable.
The UCR, NIBRS, and the NCVS In the criminal justice field, there has been created a number of methods for measuring crime, and with those different methods come different forms of data. In the United States, there are three methods that are available to be utilized: the Uniform Crime Report (Referred to as the UCR), the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), and the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). Our government, the United States of America, is knowingly responsible for providing its citizens with factual crime data that can be used to inform them of the effectiveness of current criminological practices. The data provided is collected and analyzed by a number of government agencies, but it is not limited to this, as we often send data to independent contractors to analyze for us. The Uniform Crime Report is the first method that is usually called upon, as it measures official crime data as submitted by law enforcement agencies.