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Criminology Schools of Thought

Law enforcement is a rewarding career. One also needs to be well versed in the law and that of the study of the nature of crime itself. One of the most interesting classes anyone can take in school is criminology. Criminology is the study of criminal behavior. It uses the nature, extent and cause of criminal behavior as a model for when trying to understand an individual’s motives behind their criminal nature and their actions. This is also related to an area of sociology.

The science of criminology dates back to the middle of the eighteenth century. Over time three main schools of thought in this science have rose up and become the model of what a student studies while in this class. These three schools of thought are Classical, Positive and Chicago.

In the classical school of education, it is taught that free will is the choice people have. There exists an idea that when people who commit crimes are punished there is be a deterrent to crime based on this.

The Positive School of thought teaches that criminal behavior is caused by the life around a criminal; that someone raised in a criminal environment will grow up to become a criminal or someone who falls on hard times is forced to survive by turning to a life of crime.

Finally the Chicago school of thought came about in the mid-twentieth century. It states that as a society grows so will the criminal element for whatever reason. The example used in this school of thought is a city and as a city expands so does the population within the city and thus crime will also expand.

The science of crime also helps define certain types of crimes for classifications. Some criminologists feel that in order to solve crime you need to be able to think like a criminal and know what a criminal is capable of.

Criminology is a perfect example of the science of nature versus nurture. It studies not just the criminal actions but the crime itself in order to determine why such a crime had been committed. In the most recent period of the twentieth century there have come to light Biosocial theories in the nature of crime. This suggests that predetermined biological factors exist; that some criminals are born criminals and there is nothing one can do to elude the path of crime. This still remains a very unrecognized school of thought in criminology.

Law enforcement agencies may require additional training.

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