4 credits

Criminology is the study of crime from a social perspective: the causes of crime, the social impact of crime, and the characteristics of criminals involved in the crime. Criminologists study criminology in an attempt to better understand what motivates the criminal to act in a criminal manner. Criminology 12 is an introduction to this field of study. In all forms of media in our culture, from Facebook posts to the nightly news, we are exposed to stories of crime, often causing fear and anxiety in those who are exposed to the stories. In this course, we will look at possible explanations for crime and criminal behaviour from psychological, biological, and sociological standpoints, explore the various types of crime and their consequences for society, and investigate how crime and criminals are handled by the criminal justice system. Why do some individuals commit crimes while others do not? What aspects in our culture and society contribute to crime and deviance? Why is it that individuals receive different punishments for the same crime? Why is it that individuals from some cultures are over represented in the prison population?  What factors shape the criminal case process, from arrest to punishments? How does the legal system affect the economic well-being, physical and mental health of individuals and families?