Criminologists examine the systems by which people accused of crimes are brought to justice, attempt to explain the reasons for criminal behaviour and suggest ways crime might be reduced.
Criminologists may perform the following tasks:
- study the ways in which certain criminal justice agencies operate, including the law courts, police services, prisons and community-based correction centres
- analyse and interpret data received on the incidence of crime and the operation of the justice system
- monitor new and emerging trends in offending and crime
- provide information about crime and the ways in which people are processed by the criminal justice system
- catalogue information about the possible causes of crime and the crimes committed
- compile crime statistics and develop ways in which crime-solving resources can be most effectively used
- analyse and develop crime policy and prevention strategies
- evaluate all aspects of crime and the criminal justice system
- research criminological issues such as those pertaining to offenders, victims of crime and sentencing.
Criminologists may specialise in crime prevention, cybercrime, juvenile justice, policing strategies, economic crimes or corrections. They may work in the legal field, ensuring laws keep up with changes in society. They may also work in the social/psychological fields, studying the effects of the criminal justice system or the factors that contribute to offending behaviour by individuals.
- ability to think analytically and critically
- personal integrity
- interested in welfare and human behaviour
- interested in working with disadvantaged groups.
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