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INTRODUCTION TO CRIMINOLOGY by MELCON S. LAPINA, MSCrim 4th Place, Criminologists Licensure Board Examinations, October 1996, Manila


WHAT IS CRIMINOLOGY? Criminology Defined Etymological Definition - Criminology is the scientific approach to studying criminal behavior. Classic Definition – According to Edwin Sutherland and Donald Cressey: Criminology is the body of knowledge regarding crime as a social phenomenon. It includes within its scope the processes of making laws, of breaking laws, and of reacting toward the breaking of laws….The objective of criminology is the development of a body of general and verified principles and of other types of knowledge regarding this process of law, crime, and treatment. The latter definition includes the most important areas of interest to criminologists: (1) the development of criminal law and its use to define crime, (2) the cause of law violation, and (3) the methods used to control criminal behavior. Meaning of Verified Principles The term implies that the scientific method should be used in studying criminology. Criminologists use objective research methods to pose research questions (hypotheses), gather data, create theories, and test their validity. They also use every method of established social science inquiry, including analysis of existing records, experimental designs, surveys, historical analysis, and content analysis.

Criminology Distinguished from Other Related Disciplines : 

Criminology Distinguished from Other Related Disciplines Criminology as an Interdisciplinary Science Criminology is said to be an interdisciplinary science because it involves two or more academic fields. Criminologists have been trained in diverse fields: a. Sociology, b. Criminal Justice, c. Political Science, d. Psychology, e. Economics, f. Natural Sciences Criminology Distinguished from Criminal Justice Criminology explains the etiology (origin), extent, and nature of crime in society. Criminologists are concerned with identifying the nature, extent, and cause of crime. Criminal Justice refers to the study of agencies of social control that handle criminal offenders. Criminal justice scholars engage in describing, analyzing, and explaining the operations of the agencies of justice, specifically the police departments, courts, and correctional facilities. They seek more effective methods of crime control and offender rehabilitation. Overlapping Areas of Concern. Criminal justice experts cannot begin to design effective programs of crime prevention or rehabilitation without understanding the nature and cause of crime. They require accurate criminal statistics and data to test the effectiveness of crime control and prevention programs. Criminology Distinguished from Deviance Deviance refers to the study of behavior that departs from social norms. Included within the broad spectrum of deviant acts are behaviors ranging from violent crimes to joining nudist colony. Not all crimes are deviant or unusual acts and not all deviant acts are illegal. Overlapping Areas of Concern. Under what circumstances do deviant behaviors become crimes? For example, when does sexually oriented material cross the line from merely suggestive to obscene and therefore illegal? If an illegal act becomes a norm, should society reevaluate its criminal status? For example, there is still debate over the legalization and/or decriminalization of abortion, recreational drug use, possession of handguns, and assisted suicide.

A Brief History of Criminology : 

A Brief History of Criminology DEMONOLOGY Middle Ages (1200-1600) People who violated social norms or religious practices were believed to be witches or possessed by demons. CLASSICAL CRIMINOLOGY Mid-18th Century Utilitarianism - The view that people’s behavior is motivated by the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of pain. Cesare Beccaria (1738-1794) – In order for punishment not to be in every instance, an act of violence of one or many against a private citizen, it must be essentially public, prompt, necessary, the least possible in the given circumstances, proportionate to the crimes, and dictated by the laws. Basic Elements: (1) In every society people have free will to choose criminal or lawful solutions to meet their needs or settle their problems. (2) Criminal solutions may be more attractive than lawful ones because they usually require less work for a greater payoff; if left unsanctioned, crime has greater utility than conformity. (3) A person’s choice of criminal solutions may be controlled by his or her fear of punishment. (4) The more severe, certain, and swift the punishment, the better able it is to control criminal behavior. Let the punishment fit the crime.

A Brief History of Criminology : 

A Brief History of Criminology POSITIVISM 19th Century Two Main Parts: (1) The belief that human behavior is a function of internal and external forces. (2) Embracing the scientific method to solve problems. Charles Darwin (1809-1882) – Popularized the positivist tradition. His work on the evolution of man encouraged a 19-Century “cult of science” that mandated that all human activity could be verified by scientific principles. If the scientific method could be applied to the study of nature, then why not use it to study human behavior? Auguste Comte (1798-1857) – Founder of sociology; Coined the word Positivism. Positivism - the branch of social science that uses the scientific method of the natural sciences and suggests that human behavior is a product of social, biological, psychological, or economic forces.

A Brief History of Criminology : 

A Brief History of Criminology POSITIVIST CRIMINOLOGY Physiognomist – Studied the facial features of criminals to determine whether shape of ears, nose, and eyes and the distance between them were associated with antisocial behavior. Known advocate is J. K. Lavater (1741-1801). Phrenologists – Studied the shape of the skull and bumps on the head to determine whether these physical attributes were linked to criminal behavior. Known advocates are Franz Joseph Gall (1758-1828) and Johann K. Spurzheim (1776-1832). Manie Sans Delire – Coined by Philippe Pinel, one of the founders of French psychiatry. It denotes what is known as Psychopathic Personality – a personality characterized by a lack of warmth and feeling, inappropriate behavior responses, and an inability to learn from experience. Some psychologists view psychopathy as a result of childhood trauma; others see it as a result of biological abnormality. In 1812, an American, Benjamin Rush, described patients with an “innate preternatural moral depravity.” English physician Henry Maudsley (1835-1918): “Crime is a sort of outlet in which their unsound tendencies are discharged; they would go mad if they were not criminals, and they do not go mad because they are criminals.” Biological Determinism - A belief that criminogenic traits can be acquired through indirect heredity from a degenerate family whose members suffered from such ills as insanity, syphilis, and alcoholism, or through direct heredity – being related to a family of criminals. Social Positivism – Composed of positivists who developed the field of sociology to scientifically study the major social changes that were taking place in the 19-century society

A Brief History of Criminology : 

A Brief History of Criminology Biological Determinism Cesare Lombroso (1835-1909) believed: (1) serious offenders inherited criminal traits. These “born criminals” inherited physical problems that impelled them into a life of crime. This view helped stimulate the interest in a Criminal Anthropology - early efforts to discover a biological basis of crime through measurement of physical and mental processes. (2) Born criminals suffer from Atavistic Anomalies - the physical characteristics that distinguish born criminals from the general population and are throwbacks to animals or primitive people. Lombrosian Theory: (1) Criminogenic traits can be acquired through indirect heredity, from a degenerate family whose members suffered from such ills as insanity, syphilis, and alcoholism. (2) Direct heredity – being related to a family of criminals – is the second primary cause of crime. Today, those criminologists who suggest that crime has some biological basis also believe that environmental conditions influence human behavior. This is known as Biosocial Theory – the link between physical and mental traits, the social environment, and behavior.

A Brief History of Criminology : 

A Brief History of Criminology Social Positivism Sociological Criminology – Can be traced to the works of pioneering sociologists L.A.J. (Adolphe) Quetelet (1796-1874) and (David0 Emile Durkeim (1858-1917). The Chicago School – Group of urban sociologists who studied the relationship between environmental conditions and crime namely, Robert Ezra Part (1864 – 1944), Ernest W. Burgess (1886 – 1966), Louis Wirth (1897 – 1952) and their colleagues. These sociologists pioneered research on the Social Ecology – environmental forces that have a direct influence on human behavior Edwin Sutherland – People learn criminal attitudes from older, more experienced law violators. Walter Reckless – Crime occurs when children develop an inadequate self-image, which renders them incapable of controlling their own misbehavior. Conflict Criminology – Based on the writings of Karl Marx: The economic system controls all facets of human life; consequently, people’s lives revolve around the means of production. The exploitation of the working class would eventually lead to class conflict… Criminality – Failure of Socialization Important relationship in the industrial culture: Bourgeoisie Proletariat Evolved into a Marxist-based radical criminology: the economic system produce the conditions that support a high crime rate. L.A.J. (Adolphe) Quetelet – Belgian mathematician who began (along with a Frenchman, Andre-Michel Guerry) Cartographic School - this approach made use of social statistics that were being developed in Europe in the early nineteenth century that provided important demographic information on the population, including density, gender, religious affiliations, and wealth. Emile Durkeim defined crime as a normal and necessary social event. He described Anomie – a condition produced by normlessness. Because of rapidly shifting moral values, the individual has few guides to what is socially acceptable.

A Brief History of Criminology : 

A Brief History of Criminology Contemporary Criminology Major perspectives of Criminology BIOLOGICAL/ PSYCHOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE Internal Forces Crime is a function of chemical, neurological, genetic, personality, intelligence, or mental traits. CLASSICAL/ CHOICE PERSPECTIVE Situational Forces Crime is a function of free will and personal choice, Punishment is a deterrent to crime. STRUCTURAL PERSPECTIVE Ecological Forces Crime rates are a function of neighborhood conditions, cultural forces, and norm conflict. PROCESS PERSPECTIVE Socialization Forces Crime is a function of upbringing, learning, and control. Peers, parents, and teachers influence behavior. CONFLICT PERSPECTIVE Economic and Political Forces Crime is a function of competition for limited resources and power. Class conflict produces crime. DEVELOPMENTAL PERSPECTIVE Multiple Forces Biological, social-psychological, economic, and political forces may combine to produce crime.

A Brief History of Criminology : 

A Brief History of Criminology Criminology in the Philippines In the Philippines, Criminology was offered as a course in the Philippine College of Criminology (formerly Plaridel College) at Sta. Cruz, Manila sometime in 1950s. Unlike in other countries, Criminology in the Philippines focused on describing, analyzing, and explaining the operations of the agencies of justice, specifically the police departments, courts, and correctional facilities. Thus, in the curriculum only three or four subjects dealt with Criminology proper, i.e. explaining etiology and nature of crime, while the rest focused on Law Enforcement Administration, Criminal Jurisprudence, Criminal Investigation and Criminalistics. No wonder why since its inception, no research regarding crime causation has been advanced by Filipino criminologists. Criminology Organizations. At present, there are only two recognized organizations of criminology in the Philippines, the Philippine Educators Association for Criminology Education (PEACE) and the Professional Criminologists Association of the Philippines (PCAP). Both aimed at enhancing Criminology profession, although the former is more geared towards Criminology Education. Because Criminology in the Philippines is more of a Criminal Justice, many criminologists concentrate in their further studies either in the Law Enforcement or Criminalistics. Just recently, a new academic institution was established in Cebu City. This institution, named Forensic Identification and Law Enforcement Academy, offers an in-depth, hands-on training in any of the fields of criminalistics, namely: Personal Identification (Fingerprint Science), Forensic Photography, Forensic Ballistics, Questioned Documents Examination, Forensic Chemistry and Polygraphy (Lie Detection). As an offshoot to this training, a new organization is currently being worked out, the so-called “Association of Forensic Identification Specialists.” In 2005, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) passed new policies, standards and guidelines for Criminal Justice Education. Under this, the areas of Criminology, Law Enforcement Administration, Correctional Administration, Industrial Security Management, and Forensic Science will now be well delineated. With this development, the criminology profession will be more competitive both locally and internationally. Furthermore, the problems of rising criminality in the Philippines will be properly addressed.


WHAT CRIMINOLOGISTS DO: THE CRIMINOLOGICAL ENTERPRISE SOCIOLOGY OF LAW Determining the origin of law Measuring the forces that can change laws and society. CRIMINAL STATISTICS Gathering valid crime data Devising new research methods Measuring crime patterns and trends THEORY CONSTRUCTION Predicting individual behavior Understanding the cause of crime rates and trends CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR SYSTEMS Determining the nature and cause of specific Crime patterns Studying violence, theft, organized, white-collar, and public order crimes. PENOLOGY Studying the correction and control of criminal behavior. VICTIMOLOGY Studying the nature and cause of victimization Aiding crime victims. SUBAREA PRIMARY FOCUS


HOW CRIMINOLOGISTS VIEW CRIME DEFINITION OF CRIME Consensus View The law defines crime. Agreement exists on outlawed behavior. Laws apply to all citizens equally. Conflict View The law is a tool of the ruling class. Crime is a politically defined concept. “Real crimes” are not outlawed. The law is used to control the underclass. Interactionist View Moral entrepreneurs define crime. Crimes are illegal because society defines them that way. Criminal labels are life transforming events.


Aggregate Data Research – Tells us about the effect of social trends and patterns on the crime rate. Cohort Research – Involves observing a group of people who share a like characteristic over time. HOW CRIMINOLOGISTS STUDY CRIME CRIMINOLOGICAL RESEARCH TECHNIQUES Observational and Interview Research –Focused on relatively few subjects, interviewing them in depth or observing them as they go about their activities. Experimental Research – To see the direct effect of one factor on another. Survey Research – Designed to measure the attitudes, belief, values, personality traits, and behavior of participants Three types of Survey Research: (1) Self-Report Surveys – ask participants to describe, in detail, their recent and lifetime criminal activity; (2) Interviews; and (3) Cross-Sectional Research – simultaneously interviewing or questioning a diverse sample of subjects who represent a cross section of a community. One and two involve sampling – the process of selecting for study a limited number of subjects who are representative of entire groups sharing similar characteristics, called populations. Two types of Cohort Research: (1) Longitudinal – Characteristics: subjects are selected; their behaviors are followed for long period of time. Data include: school experiences, arrests, hospitalizations, and information about their family life (divorces, parental relations); and subjects given repeated intelligence and physical exams; their diets monitored. Data can be collected directly from subjects. (2) Retrospective - A study that uses an intact cohort of known offenders and looks back into their early life experiences by checking their educational, family, police, and hospital records. Important sources of Aggregate Data Research is Uniform Crime Report (UCR) Compiled by the FBI; an annual report that reflects the number of crimes reported by citizens to local police departments and the numbers of arrests made by police agencies in a given year. Time-Series Design - Choosing an event in time (such as passage of a DWI law) and examining specific data prior to and subsequent to this event to determine whether the law can be linked to a change in behavior.


SUMMARY Criminology is the scientific approach to the study of criminal behavior and society’s reaction to law violations and violators. It is essentially an interdisciplinary field; many of its practitioners were originally trained as sociologists, psychologists,, economists, political scientists, historians, and natural scientists. Criminology has a rich history with roots in the utilitarian philosophy of Beccaria, the biological positivism of Lombroso, the social theory of Durkeim, and the political philosophy of Marx. In the late 1960s, criminal justice programs were created to examine and improve the U.S. system of justice. Criminology and criminal justice are mutually dedicated to understanding the nature and control of criminal behavior. The study of deviant behavior also overlaps with criminology because many “deviant” acts are violations of criminal law. The criminological enterprise is comprised of subareas, including criminal statistics, the sociology of law, theory construction, criminal behavior systems, penology, and victimology. Criminologists believe in one of three perspectives: the consensus view, the conflict view, or the interactionist view. The consensus view dictates that crime is illegal behavior defined by the existing criminal law, which reflects the values and moral of a majority of citizens. The conflict view states that crime is behavior created so that economically powerful individuals can retain their control over society. The interactionist view portrays criminal behavior as a relativistic, constantly changing concept that reflects society’s current moral values. According to interactionist view, criminal behavior is behavior so labeled by those in power; criminals are people society chooses to label as outsiders or deviants. Research methods used by criminologists: surveys longitudinal studies, record studies, experiments, and observations. Questions about ethical standards arise when information-gathering methods appear biased or exclusionary. These types of issues may cause serious consequences because their findings can have a significant impact on individuals and groups

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