Course Type: Hummanities


The term “criminology” first appeared a hundred years ago. Although this discipline is relatively young compared with the other disciplines in social and behavioral sciences, it has become a major academic field in the century. Criminology is, without questions, a compulsory contributor for dealing with crime problem in our society. It is an interdisciplinary field of study. It contains such subjects as the facts of criminality including the extent and distribution of criminal behaviors in society, the characteristics of criminals, the characteristics of criminal laws and procedures, and the history, structure, and functioning of the criminal justice system. The current course contains four parts: Introduction to criminology, crime measurement and research, causes of criminal behavior, and correction and treatment. Part I presents an overview of criminology and the vast horizon of this science. It discusses various views of crime, presents different classification of theories, and traces the history of development of criminological thought and theories. Part II explains techniques for measuring the characteristics of criminals, crime, and victims, and presents various major research methods in the field. It also describes general research findings on crime related factors. Part III reviews the major theories about the causes of criminal behavior. It includes the formation of two major schools of criminology in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries: classicism and positivism. Then the rest of the discussion is focus on explanation of criminal behavior on the basis of the various theories developed in the twentieth century. Among the subjects covered are theories that offer biological, psychological , sociological, social psychological, sociopolitical, and integrated explanations. Part IV introduces a historical overview of punishment and corrections, corrections today, and community alternatives.