Are you also wondering what are the possible similarities between criminology and criminal justice? Have you been of the mind that maybe these two fields might not be quite different from one another? Although closely related, criminology and criminal justice might appear to be similar at first glance but they are two synonymously different fields of study. The two areas of studies might appear to have uniquely same goals & objectives, but they play closely related roles in the community. In case, you’re not sure how then read on.
What is Criminal Justice?
Criminal justice is a system of laws and the way it is implemented to maintain order in society
The concept of crime has been developed to impose specific rules, norms, and regulations which will be enforced by the state using police force. The main goal of this field is to enact laws that prevent and investigate crime and arrest perpetrators.
The implementation of the criminal justice system is usually carried out by an organization or agency at various levels such as local, state, and cumulatively on a federal level. These organizations include the police, law enforcement, courts, and corrections.
What is Criminology?
Whereas, criminology attempts to study the reasons behind criminal behavior. It is a systematic study of deviance or crime and criminals. Criminology evaluates why some people commit crimes, what differentiates criminals from non-criminals & how crimes are committed in different contexts.
Criminologists conduct research on the patterns, causes, and effects of various types of crimes such as murder, rape, robbery, etc.
Criminology might appear to be similar to criminal justice but it differs in several aspects. For one, criminologists are interested in studying cases that have already taken place while criminal justice focuses on preventing the crimes & arresting the suspected criminals.
Criminology vs Criminal Justice: What is the Difference?
They Both Have Different Approaches
Criminology and criminal justice both have different approaches to studying crimes. Criminology focuses on the root causes of crime. Criminal justice looks at what can be done to prevent it. By understanding these differences, one could easily realize that the two disciplines are not interchangeable.
Criminologists study why people commit crimes while law enforcement makes laws to prevent crime.
Criminologists Study Criminals; Whereas, Law Enforcement Arrests Them
Criminologists study criminals while law enforcement arrests them. The two are not one and the same thing & can’t be identified with each other.
For one, criminologists research the reasons why people commit crimes within a specific setting. However, the law enforcer catches the suspected criminals & brings them to justice by putting them behind bars.
Criminology Focuses on Individuals; Whereas, Criminal Justice Takes a Broader Approach
Criminal justice aims to prevent crime by changing the social setting in which it occurs. Criminologists focus more on individuals & victims while criminal justice studies how society can change the conditions that make people commit crimes.
As compared to criminologists, law enforcement officials take a broader approach & don’t solely concentrate on individual criminals but societies as well. They hold the view that the government must do something about providing better education, health care, and economic opportunities to all citizens if they want to curb crimes. In this way, they are able to create a much-organized society where people can live a life in harmony and have a better future.
The Role of Police is Different From That of Probation Officers or Parole Officers
Police officers arrest criminals & bring them to justice whereas probation officers and parole officers monitor criminals who have been released from jail. Probation and parole officers try to assess the risks posed by ex-convicts & work with them before their release so as to reduce the possibility of committing another crime.
The role of law enforcers is different from that of criminal justice officers. Police, probation, or parole officers work within a system. However, criminologists are independent researchers trying to come up with social theories on why people commit crimes.
Similarities Between Criminology and Criminal Justice?
Crimnology and criminal justice may sound the same but are not. However, there are similarities which we will discuss as follows:
They Both Focus on Different Aspects of Crime
Criminology and criminal justice both focus on different aspects of crime. Criminal justice is more about prevention whereas criminology is more about why some people commit different types of crimes & what can be done to address the cause of crimes.
Both Aim At Preventing Future Crimes
Criminal justice and criminology both aim at preventing future crimes. The main difference between them lies in the fact that while one aims at reducing the number of new crimes, the other looks into reducing the frequency rates of recorded crimes.
Another similarity between criminal justice and criminology exists in their research methodologies. Both disciplines use social science methods such as surveys, statistics, qualitative/quantitative data analysis, and experiments to arrive at their conclusions.
Criminology vs. criminal justice
Criminology and criminal justice both give different explanations. As to why crime occurs to humans as well as societies as a whole. Criminal justice works on the following principle:
“The punishment is equal to the crime”
Whereas criminology focuses on preventative measures by imposing more penalties or threatening criminals with the same sentences, which they were subjected to.
So we hope that this article might have helped you get a better grasp on how these both areas or fields of study work. Criminology focuses on studying criminality while criminal justice deals with deviance which seems to be the main difference between criminology & criminal justice. Both disciplines have different approaches but they are not just looking for different things but also studying them differently.
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