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Exploration of the concepts of criminology and criminal justice as sciences

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  1. Introduction
  2. Criminology and Criminal Justice as Scientific Disciplines
    1. Policy driven by ideology
    2. Distortion by the investigator
    3. Skepticism that research will be useful in fighting crime
    4. Perspectives of the legal profession on criminal justice
  3. Criminology and Criminal Justice as Scientific Disciplines
  4. Current Problems with Criminological Research
  5. Modern Developments
  6. Synthesis of the Data
  7. Conclusions


Throughout the course of the twentieth century notable advancements in science and technology has enabled researchers choose significantly improve their overall ability to conduct empirical research. Although the advancements have taken place have impacted almost every field of study, and a precursor he overview of the field of criminal justice suggests that there has been a paucity of development in this area for a number of decades. While this dearth of information may stem from a the inability of researchers to accurately apply technology, it seems more reasonable to argue that in the context of criminology and criminal justice the evolution of theory in these disciplines has not advanced substantially in more than four decades. Therefore, even though significant and notable improvements in science and technology have been acquired, research in the areas of criminology and criminal justice have not expanded notably in recent years.

[...] Despite the fact that criminology and criminal justice have been codified as scientific disciplines, capable of producing reliable empirical data for practical application, the overall opinion that has been developed with respect to these areas is that research produced will not provide a salient basis for significant improvements with respect to crime and/or criminal behavior. Criminology and Criminal Justice as Scientific Disciplines Given the notable disdain that has developed with respect to research in the areas of criminology and criminal justice, it is pertinent to consider the specific reasons as to why social scientists claim that these disciplines can be codified as scientific in nature. [...]


[...] The fifth and final turning point for criminal justice research as identified by Laub can be seen in the work of James Q. Wilson. As noted by Laub, ?Wilson has argued that criminology should abandon its fundamental mission?understanding crime?to focus more on policy analysis, specifically the prediction and management of dangerous offenders in order to reduce crime and disorder? (p. 15). Laub argues that the push toward policy through research and criminology establishes the pertinence of data collected in this area for the development and evolution of social policy. [...]


[...] To further illustrate the manner in which theoretical orientation can impact the overall development of a research in criminal justice and criminology, Jupp goes on to argue that the challenges of ascribing theory to practicality can be seen in the context of the wide range of issues that criminologists have attempted to study through research. Identifying the rudimentary basis for investigation in criminology research, Jupp notes four specific areas that have been of paramount concern for researchers undertaking investigation in criminal justice. [...]

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