Essay on Inter-Relation between Criminology, Penology and Criminal Law !
It must be reiterated that criminology is one of the branches of criminal science which is concerned with social study of crimes and criminal behaviour. It aims at discovering the causes of criminality and effective measures to combat crimes. It also deals with the custody, treatment, prevention and control of crimes which, for the purposes of this study, is termed as penology.
The criminal policies postulated by these twin sister branches (i.e., criminology and penology) are implemented through the agency of criminal law. Thus for the sake of convenient study the entire subject may be classified under the following heads:—
It is generally said that criminal law is an index of civilisation because it is sensitive to the changes in social structure and reflects mental fibre of a given society. This is why Prof. Friedman calls it a barometer of moral thinking. According to Wechster, “crime is a formal social condemnation of forbidden conduct buttressed by sanction calculated to prevent it”. Criminologists are thus confronted with three major problems, namely:—
(1) What conducts should be forbidden and an inquiry into the effect of environment on these conducts;
(2) What condemnation is appropriate in such cases; and
(3) What kinds of sanctions are best to prevent these conducts?
It is thus evident that criminology, penology and criminal law are inter-related and one cannot really function without the other. The formulation of criminal policy essentially depends on crime causation and factors correlated therewith while its implementation is achieved through the instrumentality of criminal law.
It has been rightly observed by Prof. Sellin that the object of criminology is to study the sequence of law-making, law-breaking and reaction to law breaking from the point of view of the efficacy of law as a method of control. According to Donald Taft, criminology is the scientific analysis and observation of crime and criminals whereas penology is concerned with the punishment and treatment of offenders.
In his view, the development of criminology has been much later than that of penology because in early periods the emphasis was on treatment of offenders rather than scientific investigation into the causation of crime.