Theories of Crime
Although criminologists, criminalists, and forensic psychologists have criminal justice in common, we must not confuse these three important occupations with each other. Each one has a specific job duty to perform, and all play an important part in criminal justice. There are two categories used when identifying what type of crime was committed, blue collar crimes are usually violent in nature while white collar crimes are usually committed by upper social class and are generally non-violent. The FBI collects information on several violent crimes, which are reported by the various law enforcement agencies, such as murder, forcible rape and aggravated assault, just to name a few. The FBI classifies crimes under two Indexes 1 and 2 in order to differentiate violent crimes from non-violent crimes. In today’s world, the norm is that when society thinks of someone committing a crime, they automatically think of street crimes, being committed by people of lower economic status. Rarely do we think of a crime being committed by a person with a higher social status or one that is wealthier than the normal citizen.
Criminologists, Criminalists, and Forensic Psychologists In all three occupations mentioned above, there is one thing that they have in common, that is that each one, in one way or another, they are involved in the study of crime. However, none of these occupations should be confused or are to be interchanged, as each are distinct in their approach to what they do. A criminologist studies the cause of criminal behavior. It may refer to economics, the environment, or statistics to explain the causes and prevention of criminal behavior (Criminology, 2002). Criminologists use psychological profiling and different methods used by law enforcement agencies on crime. A criminologist can be used in many facets within law enforcement. Criminologists must receive education in various subjects, such as criminal law, psychology and sociology in order to be useful in different situations that encompass the field of criminal justice (Robinson, 2013). A criminalist studies evidence from the crime scene in order to find a link between all parties involved. (eHow.com, 2013). They use scientific methods and techniques in order to examine, analyze items collected as evidence at a crime scene. They collect, document, and prepare evidence that will be examined and interpreted at their lab. Then they will interpret their results, reconstruct the crime scene and issue a report summarizing their findings (Criminology, 2013). The criminalist should have a degree in chemistry, biology or forensic science before considering becoming a criminalist. (eHow.com, 2013) A forensic psychologist holds a degree in the field of psychology. Within this field, the forensic psychologist will deal with main components, psychology and the law. Some of the functions of a forensic psychologist include, conducting competency evaluations, sentencing recommendations, evaluations of offenders and the risk of re-offending. They will also, at times, give testimony as expert witnesses and child custody evaluations. (Cherry, 2013) White-Collar Crime and Blue-Collar Crime White collar crimes consist of unlawful, non-violent crimes, usually involving some level of fraud and/or theft. Generally these crimes include embezzlement, racketeering, or insider trading. (World of Criminal Justice, 2002) The terminology “white collar crimes” was first defined in 1939 by Edwin Sutherland, which stated “white collar crimes were usually committed by persons of high social status in their occupations and/or a person of respectability. Blue collar crimes are generally associated with people from a lower social class. This terminology usually covers all…