Assessment of the current status and future directions in Criminology
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The social sciences in the recent past have become quite specialized in terms of the problems and responses covered in their purview. The origin of Criminology as specialized branch of learning was a part of similar process. Early Criminology better known as classical criminology emerged as part of protest against the prejudiced and discriminating legal practices that were prevalent in the contemporary society of the early eighteenth century. The leaders of criminal justice reforms were Baccaria and Bentham who demanded the reforms in the law and procedure. Afterwards Criminology has grown to be an advanced field of learning and practice. Emphasis in Criminology, in the interpretation of crime and criminality, has been changing over a period of time. The schools of thoughts in Criminology have been moving from classical to physiological, environmental to psychological and sociological to interactionist approaches and so on. Criminology has been defined as the study of crime, the causes of crime (etiology), the meaning of crime in terms of law, and community reaction to crime. Not too long ago, criminology separated from its mother discipline, sociology, and although there are some historical continuities, it has since developed habits and methods of thinking about crime and criminal behavior that are uniquely its own. Criminology is hence perceived as a most inclusive concept. Criminology involves the inputs from all basic disciplines in social and behavioural sciences in explaining the problem of and response to crime (Jatar, 1979).
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