Criminology Essay

1337 Words6 Pages
Provide a critical response to the statement that “Criminology is the science of law- making, law- breaking, and law- enforcing” (Sherman, 2013:1) Lawrence Sherman defines criminology as the science of law- making, law- breaking, and law enforcing. This statement holds true to a large extent. A similar definition stressing both the theoretical and applied nature of a science of crime is the one formulated by Edwin H. Sutherland, according to which: “Criminology is the body of knowledge regarding crime as social phenomenon. It includes within its scope the process of making laws, of breaking laws, and of reacting toward the breaking of laws….the objectivity of criminology is the development of a body of general and verified principled and of other types of knowledge regarding this process of law, crime, and treatment or prevention” (The Florida State University, n.d.) Criminology should be more than law- making, law- breaking, and law enforcing. Criminological studies tend to be gender biased and focus largely on crimes of the powerless (street crimes). Feminism and crimes of the powerful are just some of the concerns with relations to criminology. The presence of law- making, law- breaking, and law enforcing in criminology as well as crimes of the powerful will be further discussed in the following essay. Criminology as a science As an applied social science, criminology studies crime and its control through empirical research. This research forms the foundation for understanding, explanation, prediction, prevention and criminal justice policy. What makes criminology a science is the emphasis on testable hypotheses. Its support or refutation through empirical research forms the basis of what is accepted among scientific criminologists as valid knowledge (M.Lanier & Henry, 2009). Law- making, law- breaking and law- enforcing Criminology has historically
Open Document