Scientific Methods used in Criminology And Criminal Justice

The scientific method is applied to garner valuable information from physical evidence taken at crime scenes.  DNA samples from hair or body fluids, fingerprints analyses, weapons or clothing fibers are studied using scientific methods by forensic experts. Forensic scientists owe responsibility to store evidences, however minute or major they may be properly, analyze and classify them, document the observations scrupulously and take precautions to ensure that the evidences are not tampered with improperly handled. Due to their specific nature of expertise, they are frequently summoned at courts to provide expert witnesses on crime lab methodologies or their scientific observations relating to any criminal trial. Forensic scientists’ work involves close coordination with law enforcement, attorneys and medical examiners besides allied personnel. In contradiction to those seen on TV channels, a few forensic scientists visit crime spots while a part of them work in forensic laboratories and certain others work in universities, hospitals and morgues. Science and technology play major roles in the development of crime scene examination besides criminal justice. Scientific methods are used to restructure a crime scene for analyzing physical evidence which helps to reduce the quantum of misapprehension and manual inaccuracies.

 

Fingerprinting

Fingerprint identification methods have been used by crime investigators to identify suspected criminals as well as the victims of crime. The weapons and stuffs at crime scenes generally have chances to have fingerprints of people presented at crime scene. Since the fingerprint patterns are unique for each individual, they are matched to identify the criminal.

Fingerprint

Thumb Print (Image source: sxc.hu)

DNA

Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a nucleic acid contains the biological and genetic information for  all known living organisms. The DNA samples can be collected from body parts, like blood, tissues, hair, etc. Crime scenes are investigated to found the DNA samples for various purposes, like in some cases to identify a dead body.

 


Gunshot Residue

Gunshot residue is composed of burnt and un-burnt particles from the explosives, and components from the bullet, the cartridge case and the firearms used. While investigating any crime occurrence, the forensic experts apply gunshot residue kits (GSR kits) for determining the elements like composition of granules and patterns revealed by deformation of bullets.

 

Blood stain Pattern Study

Forensic experts study the bloodstain patterns to find out the circumstances under which the impact object would have been used with to hit the victim.The angle as well as the direction the bullet would have trailed along the distance from the source towards the target which can be easily explained with the help of blood stains spread in the vicinity of crime.

These scientific methods evolved from the history of activities pursued by many professionals over the centuries. These methods are being applied to observe, think and finally resolve the problems in a systematic way. Five main steps involved in the scientific method are

  • defining the problem
  • formation of hypothesis
  • data collection by observing and experimenting,
  • Interpret the data to draw conclusions.

 

Criminal Justice Research and its Objectives

The criminal justice system is everything about people and their way of interaction with the social norms defining the acceptable human behavior the society will recognize. However, the society’s acceptance of a behavior or attitude of the individuals is never widespread every time.  The cause and the effect of social problems on society are generally noticeable by involving the criminal justice system.

The criminal justice system may enable to interact with people of various ethnicities, cultural, besides religious.  Understanding the people’s action in the way they like is crucial to determine the best way to decide the behavior or attitude within a socially agreeable situation. Generally, a reason can always be traced for every situation, if proper observation in the proper context is made.

The essences of social study in the criminal justice field is the normal behavior besides and correct scrutiny to explain the reason for carrying out research on criminal justice.  Criminal justice research is very much identical to defusing a bomb whereby one has to understand the bomb’s components with is functionality and subsequently shape out the best possible way to diffuse the bomb with least impact and loss on life or property.

 

Scientific methods in Criminal Justice enable to understand social science research methods to evaluate and conduct research in studying crime and criminal justice problems. Various data collection techniques are used in criminological and criminal justice research.

 

An overview of Criminal Justice Management provides theory and practice of management and the policy commencing with introducing organizational including bureaucratic theories, scientific management, and human relations, besides the temperamental approach with core emphasis on the application of each theoretical perspective to criminal justice agencies.

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