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Criminology is the scientific study of the nature, extent,

management, causes, control, consequences, and prevention of
criminal behavior, both on the individual and social levels.
Criminology is an interdisciplinary field in both the behavioral
and social sciences, drawing especially upon the research
of sociologists, psychologists,philosophers, psychiatrists, social
anthropologists, as well as scholars of law.

The term criminology was coined in 1885 by Italian law

professor Raffaele Garofalo as criminologia. Later,French
anthropologist Paul Topinard used the analogous French
term criminology1

How to define criminology

Criminology is a set of knowledge's regarding delinquency and

crime as a social phenomena. Criminological objective is to
develop set of principles and knowledge's
regarding application of law, crime prevention and repression.

Criminology is described as a scientific discipline which studies

crime, response of the society oncriminal acts, criminal
behavior, criminals, execution of sanctions, crime prevention,
crime repression and law enforcement. Criminology researches
variety of sociological, biological and psychological causes of
crime and other non-legal aspects of crime.

Criminal law theory defines crime as an act committed or

omitted in violation of law. Other definitions describe crime as
an unlawful activity.Popular definition of criminology describes
criminology as "the scientific study of making of laws, the
breaking of laws and reactions to the breaking of laws." 2

1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criminology

2 http://crime-study.blogspot.in/2010/01/definition-of-criminology.html
Nature and Scope of Criminology

Criminology is an inter-disciplinary field of study, involving

scholars and practitioners representing a wide range of
behavioral and social sciences as well as numerous natural
sciences. Sociologists played a major role in defining and
developing the field of study and criminology emerged as an
academic discipline housed in sociology programs.

However, with the establishment of schools of criminology and

the proliferation of academic departments and programs
concentrating specifically on crime and justice in the last half of
the 20 century, the criminology emerged as a distinct
professional field with a broad, interdisciplinary focus and a
shared commitment to generating knowledge through
systematic research3.

3 https://chilot.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/criminology.
Importance of Criminology

In Mc Cleskey v. Kemp, 481 U.S. 279, 107 S. Ct. 1756, 95

L. Ed. 2d 262 (1987), an individual who had been sentenced
to death for a murder in Georgia demonstrated to the U.S.
Supreme Court that a criminologist's study showed that the
race of individuals in that state impacted whether the
defendant was sentenced to life or to death. The study
demonstrated that a black defendant who had killed a white
victim was four times more likely to be sentenced to death than
was a defendant who had killed a black victim. The defendant
claimed that the study demonstrated that the state of Georgia
had violated his rights under the EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSE
of the Fourteenth Amendment, as well as under the Eigth
Amendment's protection against Cruel and Unusual

The high court disagreed. Although the majority did question

the validity of the findings, of study's it held that the study did
not establish that officials in Georgia had acted with
discriminatory purpose, and that it did not establish that racial
bias had affected the officials' decisions with respect to the
death sentence. Accordingly, the death sentence violated
neither the Fourteenth Amendment nor the Eighth Amendment.
Criminology has had more of an effect when states and the
federal government consider new criminal laws and sentencing
provisions. Criminologists' theories are also often debated in
the context of the death penalty and crime control acts among
legislators and policymakers. In this light, criminology is
perhaps not at the forefront of the development of the criminal
justice system, but it most certainly works in the background in
the determination of criminal justice policies.