To have a flourishing career in the criminal justice be it into law enforcement or into the legal domain, there are numerous courses offered in various universities around the world. But to get a 360 degree exposure which is highly necessary, one should aim to discover top criminal justice schools and get admission into one of them. But let us first formalise the field of study which divulges further into various specific areas of study of crime.
The study which encompasses various different field of study is called ‘Criminology’
“Criminology is a field which tries to study different aspects of crime such as its causes, consequences, social costs. It is a combination of sociology and criminology”
Let us look into various fields into academics which try to study the different nature of Crimes:
- Criminalist: The job of a criminalist is to examine the physical evidence collected by the law enforcement field agent and derive possible conclusions from it. This important support position in the law enforcement under criminal justice system as unless and until the evidence is identified and examined there is no specific heading into the case. Thus the lead generation for the law enforcement field agent starts from here. There are various sciences that are attached this area of study and a criminalist has to run the evidence through various tests, thus a criminalist should have a good knowledge of biology, chemistry and forensic science. There are various schools which offer courses for an aspiring criminalist. Some of the top schools which offer criminal justice education are University of Maryland, University of Cincinnati etc.
- Criminologist: It is a social science which tries to determine, analyse& categorise criminal behaviour. This area of study is a combination of human psychology and sociology. A proper scientific research is conducted on the basis of past crimes and criminals present in rehabilitation centres under criminal justice. This an important area of study as it tries to determine the cause of the crime and what factors that contributed to it. When once the cause is determined and factors contributing to it is becomes easier for the law enforcer to prevent such factors or act on it as it been suggested. There are few top institutions which try to provide education into this field of criminal justice. Some of them are University at Albany-SUNY, Rutgers State University, etc.
- Forensic Psychologist: There are many popular shows over the television which has shown forensic psychologists, but whatever is shown about forensic psychologists are mostly exaggerated in those television shows. A job of a forensic psychologist is to determine whether the criminal is a psychopath or belong to other mentally ill category. This field of study borrows a great deal of knowledge from human psychology and is used to assist law enforcers in understanding the state of mind of the criminal. Some of the best schools for criminal justice science that covers forensic psychology are University of Missouri-St. Louis, University of California, Irvine etc.
Over the years the study of Criminology has expanded and formalised to understand the nature of crime better and prepare individuals to prevent such crimes in future.