In Northern Spain, skeletons of 28 humans were found inside an underground cave system. The pile of bones was accumulated at the bottom of a vertical shaft, which was 50-foot long.
After carefully examining the skulls and some high-level detective work, experts discovered that one poor guy among the 28 was murdered with a blunt weapon.
This incident is the world's oldest murder case, which happened 4,30,000 years ago.
Interpersonal violence was a common occurrence among early humans. And as we can witness, even civilized humans are not free from it.
Robbery, Murder, Terrorism, Kidnap, Rape, Scam, Cyberbullying, Serial Killing - These words are common terms in news headlines.
After reading such headlines, the dream to realize and witness a utopian world may appear centuries away.
We may not be able to create a utopian society anytime soon. But we can try to reduce the rate of crimes by identifying and solving their root causes, and this is where Criminology comes into play.
What is Criminology?
The Seven Deadly Sins - Wrath, Envy, Greed, Sloth, Lust, Gluttony, Pride - are said to be the reason behind humanity's suffering, ultimately leading them to commit crimes.
But is that true? Can we justify the heinous activities of the earth's most complex beings with such simple terms? After all, everyone would have held such feelings at some point in their lives. But not every one of us is a criminal by law.
The branch of Criminology aims to solve the mystery of crimes and criminal behaviour by identifying their root causes. It uses the principles of sociology, psychology, anthropology, statistics, and economics.
Criminology intends to answer the who, why, what, and how of crimes -
- Who commits crimes?
- Why do they commit crimes?
- What are the impacts of these crimes?
- How to prevent them?
Criminologists find the answer to these questions to help establish more equitable and effective policies and social justice systems. They also aim to find ways on how to reduce the crime rates by eliminating their root causes.
Criminology Courses in India:
Any interested student can easily pursue criminology courses after 12th Std. But some students develop an interest in criminology after graduation. In such cases, they can apply for postgraduate criminology courses in India if they fulfill the eligibility criteria.
The list of various criminology courses at various levels, along with their duration and eligibility, are given below:
|Eligibility||10+2 in any stream from a recognized board of education with a minimum of 50% aggregate marks.|
Diploma and PG Diploma Level:
|Eligibility||Bachelor's degree in criminology or any other relevant discipline with a minimum of 50% aggregate.|
|Eligibility||Undergraduate course in relevant stream from a recognized board or university with a minimum of 50% aggregate marks. |
|Courses||Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) in Criminology and Criminal Justice|
|Duration||3 to 5 Years|
|Eligibility||Postgraduate course in relevant stream from a recognized board or university with a minimum of 50% aggregate marks.|
Criminology Colleges in India:
Students can study criminology courses after 12th Std at the top institutes. It will enable them to grasp the advanced knowledge and skills required in the field.
Top 5 Criminology Colleges in India are as follows:
|Acharya Institute of Graduate Studies||Bangalore|
|National Institute of Criminology & Forensic Science||Delhi|
|National Forensic Sciences University||Gandhinagar|
|Tata Institute of Social Sciences||Mumbai|
How Do Criminologists Work?
Our social system has a set of normative rules, and every normal person is expected to follow them. But, criminals end up violating these rules and exhibit deviant behaviour.
Criminologists study the factors that lead to this deviant behaviour. They also study how a particular crime impacts the victims and their families.
The key areas studied by Criminologists include:
- Types of Crimes
- Crime Frequency
- Causes of Crimes
- Location of Crimes
- Consequences of Crimes
- Individual, Social, and Governmental Reactions to Crimes
Career as a Criminologist - Pros, Cons, and Salary:
Every career comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. The pros and cons of a career as a Criminologist are as follows:
- Creates a sense of satisfaction by assisting in solving crimes
- Higher sense of adventure
- Enables to aid in crime prevention
- Challenges intellect and brings out creativity
- Irregular working hours
- Exposure to high risk as the work involves close interaction with criminals
- Extreme stress due to the high stakes involved in making every decision
- Lack of a strong base as the field is at its developing stage in India
Criminologist Salary in India:
After completing a course in Criminology, students can work as Criminologists in various sectors.
The criminologist salary in India at the beginning of their career is around INR 3 lakhs per annum. However, as they gain experience, their salaries can go up to INR 10 lakhs per annum.
Scope of Criminology in India:
India is home to 1.3 billion people. As the population increases, the number of crimes is also bound to increase.
According to the Global Terrorism Index 2020, India is the 8th most affected country due to the impact of terrorism.
As a result, maintaining peace in our nation has become a great challenge. Criminologists can help the country to control crimes through research on criminal behaviour and psychology of individual criminals and terrorist groups.
They assist the cops at crime scenes or work in various settings like:
- Medical Examiner Offices
- Police Stations
- Private Offices
- Juvenile Homes
- Investigation Agencies
Even though the field is still in its developmental stages, the scope of criminology in India is very high.
The field of Criminology will soon become an undeniable need if we want to achieve lower crime rates.
Therefore, pursuing a career as a Criminologist will help students contribute to society in a meaningful way.