Some criminologists research the "hard" sciences in crime labs. Others
conduct behavioral research in the social sciences (known as the "soft" sciences).
The research findings are used to help police, courts, prosecutors and other
groups deal more effectively with the impact of crime.
Criminologists seek answers to questions such as:
To address these questions, criminologists might analyze police reports,
develop and administer surveys, hold focus groups, conduct interviews, perform
statistical analyses and more.
Criminologists produce reports of their findings. They might deliver these
reports in written form or orally. Public speaking is often a requirement.
It is important for criminologists to keep current on issues facing police,
lawyers and the courts.
Criminologists work for police agencies, government bodies, community organizations
and nonprofit associations. Many work as professors and teachers. Some criminologists
are self-employed as consultants, public speakers and expert witnesses.
The criminal justice system offers many types of jobs for criminologists,
says Les Smith. He is the criminal justice manager at a county administrator's
office in Fort Worth, Texas. Some criminologists work for the police, but
there are also jobs with sheriffs, prosecutors, the courts and the corrections
Smith says criminologists rely on technology. "We use the Internet to conduct
research," he says. "There is no limit on the amount of information that can
be found, evaluated and analyzed."
According to Smith, integrating computer and radio systems with the community,
police, prosecution, courts and connections has become a priority. "Community
safety is the basis for these initiatives."
Smith believes that a person with a physical disability could work as a