What is a Criminologist and what do They Do

A criminologist studies human behaviour and makes his/her analysis on ways to help reduce crime. Criminologists study different crimes, criminals and the criminal justice system in society. Crime is studied quite intensely both at the micro and macro levels. Criminologists try to understand the reasons behind crimes by studying normal and abnormal social behaviours. It is also in their domain to study the patterns leading to criminal activities among people. They also try to find ways to prevent crime in society and the means to effectively capture criminals and keep them behind bars.


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    Law enforcement agencies require criminologists and have many working for them on a full time basis while some criminologists prefer to work as freelancers for a particular police department. Other government organisation dealing with crime related issues can also hire criminologists as instructors or helpers. When working with the police, a criminologist may visit the autopsy, or may make him/herself useful in helping the crime scene investigators through psychological profiling.

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    Finding criminals isn’t the only job of the criminologists, as they also need to develop theories on the reasons which push people towards crime. They can do this by studying the patterns, trends and similarities between certain cases. They also need to study juvenile delinquency, law reforms, forensics, law enforcement tactics and drug abuse. It is in their domain to make a report regarding the effectiveness of the justice system for the betterment of the victims of crime.

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    Criminologists are more like scientists working in the criminal justice system. They do extensive research on criminal behaviour and collect statistics which are very helpful in developing a better understanding towards crime and criminals. They compile their reports based on their findings which are then used for solving real cases. With the help of these reports they can deduce the demographics as to who are the people most likely to commit a crime and the reasons behind relapses in criminals after reforms.

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    A Bachelor’s degree with majors in sociology, criminal justice, statistics and psychology is the educational requirement for criminologists. However, they can go onto securing a Master’s or a doctorate in this field as they can continue their studies after beginning a proper job. For them their whole life is a study where they learn by observing different crimes and the behaviour of criminals. Logic, computer science, statistics and writing are some of the subjects which are helpful for criminologists.

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