Criminology Vs Criminal Justice – What Is The Difference?

What are the differences between criminology vs criminal justice? And what is criminology? What is criminal justice? 

Have you ever heard of John Wayne Gacy -The Killer Clown? How about Ted Bundy- the most infamous serial killer of the 1900s? After all the devious crimes they had committed, these murderers all end up given the death penalty. Those who captured and imposed punishments on the offenders were police officers, forensic scientists, lawyers, judges. Specifically, they are all criminology vs criminal justice specialists.

In order to follow that heroic path and devote to the law-enforcement progress, you should acknowledge the subtle but distinct differences between the two areas of criminology and criminal justice. From that, planning your own future working in these fields can be much more accurate and straightforward.


What Is Criminalistics?

Criminology, or the study of criminalistics, concerns crime and its behaviors. Specifically, criminology is the study of the criminal phenomenon as a whole, including the creation, violation of laws, the social reaction and counteraction to such wrongdoings.

Criminology is concerned with describing each facet of the criminal phenomenon and understanding and explaining them. You can see its interdisciplinary nature in the various theories that underpin the research and allow the analysis of empirical data.

Criminology attempts to reduce the crime rate in society by taking crime, its motive, as well as crime-related societal perspectives into an examination. Criminology courses teach students how to comprehend, predict potential crimes and law-breaking action.

Criminology Vs Criminal Justice - What Is The Difference?

In reality, criminology vs criminal justice specialists can devote to the law-enforcement progressSource:

How About Criminologists?

More specifically, criminologists work on a variety of tasks. At the creation of laws, they are interested in how a state or society decides what behavior will become a crime. Regarding the law violation matter, criminologists describe, understand, and explain the different forms of any crime in society. For example, sexual delinquency, drug trafficking, economic crime, and cybercrime are some of the work concerns.

In criminology, we focus on the criminals, the victims, the social impacts on them and each crime. Regarding the social reaction and counteraction, criminologists seek to understand and explain citizens and the media’s responses to crime and those of judicial and prison institutions. Like other human and social sciences, various analytical methods and techniques are standard in this area: questionnaires, surveys, participant observations, interviews, quantitative and qualitative analysis. Criminology also studies the impact of justice and prison systems.

In addition to its scientific orientation, allowing the pursuit of a research career, criminology is an applied science. Therefore, criminologist training enables a student to work in various crime-related settings and perform multiple tasks. Workplaces for graduates are varied: probation and parole office, government and community organizations, prisons, youth centers, federal protective services, and academia.

Criminal Justice

Criminal justice is the field covering society’s responses to crime and criminal justice. It comprises gathering evidence, arresting, enforcing charges, presenting the accused before the courts, the trials’ process, and the prison system.

Three main components make up the system of criminal justice: law enforcement, courts, and corrections. They function parallelly for the prevention and punishment of deviant behaviors.

Law Enforcement is perhaps the most renowned function of the system. Police officers are usually the first in the criminal justice system to encounter a criminal. Police patrol communities help prevent crimes, investigate incidences of crime, and arrest suspects of crimes. Criminals only present to the court system after being arrested.

Criminals only present to the court system after being arrested.

Police officers are usually the first in the criminal justice system to encounter a criminalSource:

The court system includes attorneys, juries, judges, and ancillary staff. Whether a suspect is guilty or innocent is determined in court. After the jury procedures, the suspect is then pronounced released or has committed the crime, depending on the court decision.

The corrections system consists of sentencing and punishing means for wrongdoers, including incarceration and probation. It is responsible for convicted criminals’ sentences and punishments until they are fulfilled. 

Criminal justice takes the practice of a legal system into account to punish criminal behaviors. Thus, rather than the crime or the reasons behind it, criminal justice is merely applying laws to discipline law-violating individuals. 

The degree holders who accomplish the criminal justice program can choose a justice-enforcing-related career path. Those of criminal justice majors can find a long-term job among various professions, such as law enforcement officers, lawyers, judges, and even private investigators or security officers. 

So, Criminology Vs Criminal Justice, What Is The Difference? 

Concerning the different facets between criminal justice and criminology, criminal justice is an applied science of the law, to pinpoint a suitable punishment for a crime. In contrast, criminology studies the reasons behind crimes and criminal behaviors. So, it can predict and prevent crimes from happening. 

Besides, criminal justice specialists are more focused on enacting laws upon law-violating actions, bringing justice to victims by putting suspects – or defendants to trial courts. On the contrary,  criminology is to understand the nature of a crime, the driving force, and its potential consequences. The finding of which can prevent crimes before they happen.

Conclusion: Criminology Vs Criminal Justice

So, what is the difference between criminal justice and criminology? The two fields hold a subtle but clear distinction. Criminology is the field to study crimes, their costs and causes. At the same time, criminal justice performs from detecting, detaining to trying and punishing crimes and criminals. 

Thanks to the forces of criminology and criminal justice, we now do not need to be worried about some murderers lurking around like John Wayne Gacy or Ted Bundy anymore. 

Do you find working in criminology and criminal justice fields fascinating? To choose a suitable job, researching education and training programs can be more than beneficial. With a proper educational background and experience in these majors, one can start combating crimes and protecting people, one way or another.

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Emmanuel Davies

Most of Emmanuel Davies's professional life has been spent in education. Early in the year 2020, he teamed up with JobandEdu, getting a career counselor writer role and contributing such as career overview, employment counseling, and workplace culture. Davies has deep expertise in the academic and career advisor position gained via past roles at diverse establishments and foundations. Consequently, he plans to use writing to disseminate his knowledge and counsel to the masses.