less than 1 minute read


History, Sociology And Criminology, Political Criminology, Other Issues, Further Readings

The scientific study of the causation, correction, and prevention of crime.

As a subdivision of the larger field of sociology, criminology draws on psychology, economics, anthropology, psychiatry, biology, statistics, and other disciplines to explain the causes and prevention of criminal behavior. Subdivisions of criminology include penology, the study of prisons and prison systems; biocriminology, the study of the biological basis of criminal behavior; feminist criminology, the study of women and crime; and criminalistics, the study of crime detection, which is related to the field of FORENSIC SCIENCE.

Criminology has historically played a reforming role in relation to CRIMINAL LAW and the criminal justice system. As an applied discipline, it has produced findings that have influenced legislators, judges, prosecutors, lawyers, PROBATION officers, and prison officials, prompting them to better understand crime and criminals and to develop better and more humane sentences and treatments for criminal behavior.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationFree Legal Encyclopedia: Costal cartilage to Cross‐appeals