Interactions between Crime, Criminal Law, and Criminology

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Interactionsbetween Crime, Criminal Law, and Criminology

Interactionsbetween Crime, Criminal Law, and Criminology

Criminaljustice is a broad field that focuses on crime and interventions thatcan be used to deter crime with the objective of maintain the rule oflaw and the safety of the society. Criminal justice works bysanctioning individuals and groups that violate criminal law andrehabilitating them with the objective of making them productivemembers of their respective communities. This paper will define threemajor concepts (including crime, criminal law, and criminology) usedin the field of criminal justice and explain their interactions.


Thedefinition of the term “crime” is quite challenging because someactions that are perceived to constitute criminality to one personmay not be considered as a crime by another person. According toTriffter &amp Ambos (2015) the term crime is defined as anintentional or deliberate act that violates the criminal law and itis committed without sufficient defense, which means that it can bepenalized by the state. From this definition, crime is more of alegal concept that a scientific concept, which limits the study ofcrime from the scientific perspective. The law subdivides crime intodifferent categories that include personal crime, inchoate crime,property crime, and statutory crime. Crimes that are considered to beless serious are categorized as less demeanor, and carry a maximumjail term of one year (Cornell University, 2015). More serious crimesare usually classified as felonies. The purpose of classifying crimesis that each type of crime affects the community differently and hasa different type of punishment.


Criminallaw refers to a set of laws or rules that are used to prosecutepeople who engage in acts that are categorized as crimes in the lawof a given jurisdiction. The main objectives of this set of rulesinclude deterrent of wrongful conducts and ensuring the safety of thecommunity (Cornell University, 2015). Criminal law requires cases ofcrime to be brought before the court by the state through itsprosecutor, unlike the civil cases that are mainly brought by thevictim. The consequences of violating the criminal law are documentedin the penal code that is usually enacted by the legislative housesof the respective jurisdictions. The consequences vary from one typeof crime to another.


Criminologyis a term that refers to the scientific study of different types ofcrimes, their respective causes, possible effects, and effectivedeterrent measures. Different variables used to define criminologyare measured using research and data analysis (Siegel, 2011). Forexample, a criminologist may conduct a case study of a given area todetermine trends of the violent types of crime, determineinterventions used in the past, and recommend the most effectivedeterrent measures that may be considered in the future. In essence,the main purpose of criminology is to provide a body of knowledgethat can inform decision makers in the criminal justice system.


Thethree concepts (crime, criminal law, and criminology) interact witheach other in different ways. For example, the term crime is used todescribe acts of violation of criminal law, while criminology focuseson the study of the nature of different types of crimes and theeffectiveness of current criminal laws in deterring crimes.


Thethree concepts are inn that the concept of crime informs thestakeholders in the field of criminal justice about different typesof crimes. Criminal laws provide the stakeholders with a criterion ofdifferentiating crimes from non-crime actions while criminologyinforms the stakeholders about the effectiveness of their deterrentmeasures. Therefore, the three concepts work together to contributetowards the completeness as well as the effectiveness of a criminaljustice system.


CornellUniversity (2015). Criminallaw: An overview.Cornell University Law School. Retrieved December 16, 2015, from

Siegel,L. (2011). Criminology.Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

Triffter,O. &amp Ambos, K. (2015). Criminal law and criminology from hartpublishing. EuropeanJournal of International Law,1, 1-16.

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