Study of crime and criminal actions/behavior / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Criminology (from Latin crimen, "accusation", and Ancient Greek -λογία, -logia, from λόγος logos meaning: "word, reason") is the interdisciplinary study of crime and deviant behaviour.[1] Criminology is a multidisciplinary field in both the behavioural and social sciences, which draws primarily upon the research of sociologists, political scientists, economists, legal sociologists, psychologists, philosophers, psychiatrists, social workers, biologists, social anthropologists, scholars of law and jurisprudence, as well as the processes that define administration of justice and the criminal justice system.

Three women in the pillory, China, 1875
Three women in the pillory, China, 1875

Criminologists are individuals who engage in the exploration and investigation of the intersection between crime and society's reactions to it. Certain criminologists delve into the behavioral trends of potential offenders. In a broader sense, these professionals undertake research and inquiries, formulating hypotheses, and scrutinizing observable trends in a systematic manner.

The interests of criminologists include the study of nature of crime and criminals, origins of criminal law, etiology of crime, social reaction to crime, and the functioning of law enforcement agencies and the penal institutions. It can be broadly said that criminology directs its inquiries along three lines: first, it investigates the nature of criminal law and its administration and conditions under which it develops; second, it analyzes the causation of crime and the personality of criminals; and third, it studies the control of crime and the rehabilitation of offenders. Thus, criminology includes within its scope the activities of legislative bodies, law-enforcement agencies, judicial institutions, correctional institutions and educational, private and public social agencies.