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Criminologists examine the systems which bring people accused of crimes, to justice. They attempt to explain the reasons for criminal behaviour and suggest ways of reducing crime. They study the ways that certain criminal justice agencies operate, including the law courts, police services, prisons and community-based correction centres.

Criminologists analyze and interpret data received on the incidence of crime and the operation of the justice system and are thus able to provide information about crime and the ways in which people are processed by the criminal justice system.

They also catalogue information about the possible causes of crime and the crimes committed and compile crime statistics and develop ways in which crime-solving resources can be best used. Criminologists analyze and develop crime prevention strategies and generally evaluate all aspects of crime and the criminal justice system. They research criminological issues such as those pertaining to offenders, victims of crime and sentencing.

Criminologists may specialize in organizational research, victimology, corporate crime or juvenile justice. They may work in the legal field that tries to ensure that laws keep up with changes in society. They may also work in the social/psychological fields, which study the effects of the criminal justice system or the factors that contribute to offending behaviour by individuals.

Satisfying Aspects
- working with people
- interesting and varied work
- contributing to the prevention of crime
- several specialities to choose from

Demanding aspects
- frustrations at recommendations not being implemented
- not easily being able to set up as a consultant

A criminologist should:
- have personal integrity
- have an interest in welfare and human behaviour
- have an interest in marginalized and disadvantaged groups
- have analytical and statistical skills

School Subjects
National Senior Certificate meeting degree requirements for a degree course

Each institution will have its own minimum entry requirements.

Compulsory Subjects: Mathematics
Recommended Subjects: History, Geography

Degree: BA or BSc with relevant majors, such as: Criminology - UFS, UNISA, UCT, Monash, UP
Criminal Justice - UCT, Monash, Intec, Damelin
Criminal Law - UCT, UFS, UNISA,
Other useful courses - Statistics, Sociology, Social Anthropology etc.

- government departments
- tertiary institutions, universities as academics and researchers
- department of justice, as research officers and advisers on policy, law reform, juvenile justice, crime statistics and adult correction
- police departments, courts and corrective institutions
- private welfare agencies

Department of Justice
Private Bag X81
Pretoria, 0001
Tel: (012) 315-1111 Fax: (012) 326-0991Fax: (012) 326-0991