Definition of crime Critical Analysis

Many scholars attempted to distinguish between criminology and criminal justice (Regoli, Poole, and Miracle 1982;Williams, McShane, and Wagoner 1995) and after several attempts and debates, Greene, Bynum and Webb  1984 became successful in evaluating criminology and criminal justice through conduct of researches and surveys which lead to reveal of following facts.

Criminology carries a larger concept of theoretical frame which includes sociology of law.  Theories in this subject are called as criminalization and not theories of crime.

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It is a study of scientific theory for uncovering truth.  Much of these theories enable the understanding of criminal mindset through the application of theories of criminology which disclose human nature in a closet where all kind of people are part of and live in society.
“Theory is the foundation of criminology and of criminal justice, and we study theory to know whey are doing what we do” (Bohm 1985) [1] Theory carries a great significance as researched theory is conclusive evidence of tested science.
All researches are based on theory and verification is processing of testing theories each bit, once piece at a time in studying criminology. In classical criminology, an independent variable which is motivation to commit crime is taken leniently and classical criminologists use variables such as changes in law which affects crime rates.
Positivist criminology is more concerned with prediction than explanation. Causes that have lead to commit crime is more important in the study of etiology for positive theorists.
Criminology is much older and larger than criminal justice. Criminology carries natural science whereas criminal justice practices social science model in disciplines such as business, arts and humanities.  Criminology is heavily dependent on philosophy, psychology and sociology whereas criminal justice seeks help from police science or investigative science.  Criminology has many theories which are in conflict with one another, whereas criminal justice has only few theories.
A general definition  of crime would be, it is an act in violation of legally framed rules for which courts impose punishment such as death, fine or removal from office or imprisonment. Measuring crime as in practice is in three measurements. (1) Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) wherein police records up to date statistics of crimes. In 1994 13.9 million UCR index crimes were recorded with police.
These are further segregated into cities, states and county and accordingly law enforcement agencies are activated. (2) National Crime Victimization Survey (NCBS). In 1994 there were 42 million victimizations recorded with NCBS  (3) Self Report Studies are designed in a particular manner that individuals would participate and reveal violations of law and illegal activities.

Present day environment unfortunately carries variety of crimes viz., social, moral, unethical and even forbidden acts under all legal frames of Acts and promulgations. Current situation requires the application of both criminology and criminal justice theories to the core as a responsibility for courts in order to deter crimes and to save the code of justice at all levels.

Criminology as a field of study
Accessed 23 October 2007
Definition of crime
Accessed 24 October, 2007
Authors: Ellen G.Cohn, David P.Farrington, Richard A.Wright
Title : Evaluating criminology and criminal justice
Page No.113 accessed on 23 October 2007
Measuring crime
Accessed 24 October, 2007

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New York University

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