The Difference Between Criminal Justice and Criminology

If you’re interested in beginning a career within the criminal justice system, then you’ve likely come across advertisements and college brochure’s proclaiming the wonders of their criminal justice program. However, there’s a mass amount of confusion among those wishing to enter this field; what’s the difference between criminal justice and criminology degrees? While on its surface, it may seem these two training programs are identical; however, as you delve deeper, you’ll soon realize these are two completely separate training programs. If you’re interested in starting a career in this industry, then it’s essential to understand which of these two degrees you should pursue.

Differences Between Criminal Justice and Criminology

In public forums, the terms “criminology” and “criminal justice” are often used interchangeably. This is unfortunate, as it causes a vast amount of confusion among those wishing to embark in this rewarding educational system. In order to understand the differences between these two educational pathways, you must understand what each program covers.

Criminal justice is the study of established justice systems, and it’s directly related to the processes involved in law enforcement, such as criminal prosecution and handling criminals within the court system. Criminology, on the other hand, delves into the anatomy of crimes. While criminal justice also accomplishes this task, criminology delves far deeper into crime anatomy – specially detailing its causes.

In other words, criminology is the official study of crime in the sociological level. These professionals analyze, study, advice and research all aspects of human behavior and how this behavior led to a crime.

Essentially, criminology and criminal justice go hand-in-hand, as criminal justice is the theoretical and practical application of criminology. While criminology studies crime, criminal justice responds to crimes and its offenders and victims. There are three primary components of criminal justice: law enforcement, crime investigation and criminal punishment/rehabilitation.

Because criminal justice cannot operate without criminology, and vice-versa, it’s no surprise those seeking to enter this field of study become confused. However, with this better understanding, you’re able to decide which viewpoint you’d wish to approach this industry. Perhaps the most effective way to determine which educational pathway is best for you is to fully research the course offerings found within criminal justice or criminology degree programs. Contact your local college or university, or visit any number of websites that provide information on security guard license programs to uncover specific online criminal justice courses. It’s with this understanding you’ll be able to fully understand which is best for your career goals and desires.