Difference between Criminology and Criminalistics

Criminology and criminalistics are a pair of disciplines often confused with each other. This is not strange, as many people use them interchangeably and have been for a long time. However, each of these disciplines has a well-defined object of study that, when well known and understood, does not give rise to this confusion.

Comparison table

What is it? On the one hand, criminology is defined as the discipline that studies the criminal phenomenon in its different manifestations in order to discover and understand what causes it. Another of the purposes of criminology is to fully understand the phenomenon in order to prevent crime or reduce its incidence. As for criminalistics, this discipline studies how a certain crime is committed, for example, a murder. Through resources such as research and the scientific method, you must be able to discover, explain and prove the phenomenon of crime. 

Many people come to think of criminology as a branch of criminology. Others consider it part of criminal law.

Target Prevent crimes from happening. Solve crimes that have already happened.
What kind of science is it? Social science Natural Science
Focus Criminology focuses on the motives behind a crime. This while studying the behavior of the criminal in order to understand what causes the phenomenon of crime itself. On the other hand, criminalistics focuses more on the process behind a crime. Criminalistics unites the forensic process with the judicial process through evidence and the use of exact sciences.
What do you study? Study why. Study the how and the who.
Scientific or disciplinary basis Criminology is helped by other disciplines such as psychology, sociology, philosophy and anthropology. As mentioned above, its purpose is to help prevent crime, studying and establishing ways to solve the problems that may afflict a certain sector of society. Some of these “problems” or behaviors to monitor are, for example, school dropout, parental abandonment or drug use. Criminalistics encompasses processes such as ballistics, dactyloscopy and photography. It is helped by exact sciences such as physics, biology and chemistry. Likewise, criminalistics helps other disciplines, such as (criminal) law, since it forms an important part of the delimitation of the crime, the incrimination of the accused and the penalty or punishment that would correspond depending on each specific situation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Back to top button