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Word Count: 688
Criminology criminology the study of crime societys response to it and its prevention including examination of the environmental hereditary or psychological causes of crime modes of criminal investigation and conviction and the efficacy of punishment or correction as compared with forms of treatment or rehabilitation Although it is generally considered a subdivision of criminology also draws on the findings of psychology economics and other disciplines that investigate humans and their environment In examining the evolution and definition of crime criminology often aims to remove from this category acts that no longer conflict with societys norms and acts that violate the norms without imperiling society although decriminalization of certain acts may be accompanied by attempts to enforce codes of morality as for example in the response to pornography Criminologists are nearly unanimous in advocating that acts involving the consumption of narcotics or alcohol as well as nonstandard but consensual sexual acts known among criminologists as crimes without victims be removed from the category of crime In dealing with crime in general the emphasis has gradually shifted from punishment to rehabilitation Criminologists have worked to increase the use of psychiatric treatment education in prison and betterment of social conditions The Nature and Causes of Crime Many criminologists regard crime as one among several forms of deviance about which there are conflicting theories Some consider crime a type of anomic behavior others characterize it as a more conscious response to social conditions to stress to the breakdown in law enforcement or social order and to the labeling of certain behavior as deviant Since cultures vary in organization and values what is considered criminal may also vary although most societies have restrictive laws or customs Hereditary physical and psychological traits are today generally ruled out as independent causes of crime but psychological states are believed to determine an individuals reaction to potent environmental influences Some criminologists assert that certain offenders are born into environments such as extreme
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