The history of criminology can be traced back to the 19th Century when theories regarding the origin of criminal behavior and traits were developed by Cesare Lombroso. On the contrary, victimology is a recent scientific discipline that started in Europe after the Second World War as a means of understanding the link between criminals and victims (Lee, n.d.).
One of the major differences between victimology and criminology is their divergent focus points and scope of analysis. Criminology emphasizes on studying the criminal, the offenses, and the intentions behind the criminal activity. This discipline also studies how the public and criminal justice systems react to the criminal, rate of recidivism, and punishment ("Criminology v Victimology," 2008). Criminology is regarded as a retributive model of criminal justice since its main objective is to prevent crime and punish the criminal. On the contrary, victimology normally focuses on victim instead of the criminal with the aim of restoring the victim to the condition he/she was before victimization. Other objectives of victimology are to lessen victimization rates, minimize unnecessary expenses and suffering, and heal the community/victim relationship.
The main focus of criminologists is to determine why certain individuals are involved in breaking the law while others do not. These professionals determine these aspects through analysis of the criminals' backgrounds and intentions to identify the actual reasons for their misbehavior. On the other hand, victimologists determine why some people, entities like banks, and households become the target of criminals while others are not. They seek to discover the sources of vulnerability of these sections to criminal attacks and the root causes for some victims to either act and behave carelessly or prompt others to attack/harm them. While criminals are help personally accountable for their offenses, criminologists analyze the possibility of political, social, and economic conditions to instigate criminal activity. Victimologists explore personality traits, cultural imperatives, and socialization agents that compel individuals to risk their lives. This is despite of the fact that certain victims may be responsible for outbreak of certain criminal incidents.
As a result of their divergent focus, victimologists and criminologists normally arrive at different conclusions and findings. Criminologists recognize that many people occasionally violate certain laws at a particular age especially during adolescence but others are law-abiding. These professionals also conclude that only some who are involved in delinquent acts become hardcore and career criminals. Victimologists discover that anyone can suffer bad luck of being at the wrong place at the wrong time but don't understand why some people are targeted more than others. However, the findings by both criminologists and victimologists are used to help in explaining the concept of crime (Grivette, 2011).
This content of this paper is primarily based on internet research regarding the topic of victimology and criminology. In order to determine the findings of the content of this paper, I've conducted a basic internet research to focus on analysis done by various people on the topic. During this process, I focused on finding the basic explanations on what criminology and victimology and their relevance and significance on the criminal justice system. Additional research was conducted through the library where Andrew Karmen's book on Crime Victims was used as a tool for secondary research. This book was chosen because it provides a more comprehensive and balanced exploration of both sciences with an emphasis on victimology. Conclusion:
Victimology and criminology provide an explanation of how crime can be resolved by not only profiling the crime but also the victim. In order to improve the efficiency of the criminal justice system, these disciplines are aimed at deterring crime and restoring the condition of the victims before the criminal attack.
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Deihl, B. (2010, December 1). Criminology vs. Victimology. Retrieved November 22, 2011,
Grivette, E. (2011, January 3). Victimology vs. Criminology. Retrieved November 22, 2011, from http://erin-grivette.suite101.com/victimology-vs.-criminology
Karmen, A. (2009). Crime victims: An introduction to victimology (7 ed.). Belmont, CA:
Lee, L.W. (n.d.). How Does Victimology Differ From Criminology? Retrieved November 22,
2011, from http://www.ehow.com/facts_5794996_victimology-differ-criminology_.html