top of page

Criminology: Inside the Criminal Mind

Officer / Investigator
Career Pathway Course Units

Unit 1: The World of Criminology

In this unit, you will be introduced to the field of criminology. We will discuss what crime is and how it is related to deviance. We will also examine the similarities and differences between criminologists, criminalists, and criminal justice professionals. In addition, we will investigate the idea of criminal intent and the various defenses that might be used when a crime is committed. Finally, we will look at some of the research methods that are used in the field of criminology to help us better understand crime and criminals.

Unit 2: Biological and Psychological Theories of Crime

In this unit, we will consider biological and psychological explanations for crime. In doing so, we will look at phrenology and somatotyping. We will consider how pollution, hormones, and what we eat may have an effect on whether an individual commits a crime. We will discuss some of the psychological explanations of crime such as psychoanalytic theory, modeling theory, and self-control theory. Finally, we will examine the legal definition of insanity and the use of psychological profiling in solving crimes.

Unit 3: Labeling, Conflict, Environmental, & Radical Theories

In this unit, we will turn from the biological and psychological explanations for crime discussed in the previous unit to looking at how the environment and social conditions affect crime. In doing so, we will discuss theories such as social disorganization theory, strain theory, conflict theories, and radical criminology. We will examine how both negative labeling, inequality, and the physical environment influence crime.

Unit 4: Violent Crimes & Crimes Against Property

In this unit, we will consider the categories of crime known as crimes against persons and crimes against property. We will learn about crimes against persons such as homicide, assault, and robbery. We will also discuss property crimes, such as larceny, burglary, and arson. With each of the crimes, we will examine insights that criminologists have gained in studying the crime and statistics of the crime for victims and offenders.

Unit 5: White-Collar Corporate & Public Order Crimes

In this unit, we will discuss white-collar crime, corporate crime, organized crime, and public order crime. In doing so, we will identify which crimes fall into each area and what the effect is on society and individuals. We will identify the differences between occupational and corporate crime. Finally, we will discuss some of the controversies and debates in reducing organized and public order crimes.