Difference Between Criminology & Criminal Justice

Difference Between Criminology & Criminal Justice

The two fields of criminology and criminal justice sound like synonyms, but both are separate areas of practice and studies. The difference between criminology and criminal justice is that Criminal justice usually deals with the handling of crime and law enforcement. On the other hand, Criminology focuses on criminal acts, their causes, impacts, and their consequences.

Both criminology and criminal justice are similar fields that prepare you for a career in the law or legal field. Criminology is a social science related to the study of human behaviour concerning crimes and criminal behaviour. Criminal justice refers to the study and application of criminology.

The differences between criminology and criminal justice are explained in detail further in the article.

Criminology and Criminal Justice

Criminal justice deals with the aspects of crime from the time of the commission of crime till the offender is tried and sent to prison. It describes the societal response to crime. Criminal justice covers matters about criminal justice reform, criminal investigation, and judicial process.

On the other hand, Criminology covers the topics such as why, how, when, and where the crime takes place and what measures can be taken to prevent the crimes. 

The difference between criminology and criminal justice lies in the action or duties performed by each role. Qualification in criminology leads to an academic career. Most criminologists are analysts; they study the crime-related data and analyze it to provide policies and measures to prevent offences.

Criminologists often take into consideration the psychological, behavioural, socioeconomic, environmental factors to study a criminal. The primary focus of criminal justice is to study and analyze crime. It is usually composed of three main factors: law enforcement, the courts, and correction.

A degree in criminal justice is offered three levels that are at the associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree levels. The criminal justice program generally includes ethical behaviour in criminal justice, criminal justice, criminal investigation, correctional administration, and drug-related crimes.

While the degree program for criminology focuses more on sociology. Courses in this program involve crimes against humanity, sociology, violence against women, juvenile delinquency, deviant behaviour, and sociology in courts.

Difference Between Criminology and Criminal Justice

DefinitionIt is defined and the stud of non-legal aspects of crime that includes the causes of crime, correction, and prevention of offenses.It deals with the delivery of justice to the offenders. It is a system of law enforcement that includes lawyers, police, courts, and correction.
Role Criminologists mainly deal with examining all the aspects of crime and deduce policies to reduce criminal behavior. They do so by gathering the statistics and studying the various crime patterns.Role of the criminal justice includes rehabilitation of criminals, prevention of crimes, and providing moral support for the victims.
DegreeCourses in criminology programs mainly focus on sociology. The various subjects or courses involved are sociology, violence against women, offenses against humanity, juvenile delinquency, deviant behavior, and sociology in courts.A degree in criminal justice involves courses such as criminal investigation, ethical behavior in criminal justice, correctional administrations, and crimes related to drugs.
CollegesColleges that offer criminology courses in India are as follows: University of Madras, University of Pune, Osmania University, Bundelkhand University, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, NICFSColleges that offer criminal justice courses in India include the following: IGNOU University of Rajasthan, University of Hyderabad Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, IFS education.
Career PathCareer path includes the following: Police officer, Corporate security specialist, Homeland security, Victim advocate, ATF agent, Researcher, CIA agent.Career path includes: Police officer, Correctional officers, Wardens, detectives.


Criminology deals with the study of human behavior concerning the offenders and crime whereas criminal justice deals with the law enforcement agencies. the difference between criminology and criminal justice lies basically in the roles played by them.

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