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Kent State University Criminology and Criminal Justice Blog

Even before there were celebrity trials on TV and scattered across the internet, word of mouth, radio and newspapers drove public fascination with certain cases turning plaintiffs and defendants into celebrities themselves.
The question, “Do prisons have air conditioning?” isn’t something that the public would typically ask, but it’s an important topic for those interested in criminology and the criminal justice system to consider.
In a culture ever more dependent on technology and the internet—for education, work, entertainment, and connection to our communities—it should come as no surprise that people behave online much as we do in person: with a mixture of kindness and cruelty, combining the best and worst of human intentions.
December 29, 2021
There are currently two million individuals incarcerated in American jails and prisons. In the past 40 years, the prison population in this country has grown by 500%. According to The Sentencing Project, this unprecedented increase is due more to the changes in criminal justice policy and sentencing laws than to changes in the nation’s crime rates.
Whether you’re aware of it or not, you likely use encryption daily. Sending emails or text messages, using fitness trackers that communicate with apps on your phone, accessing an online banking portal and retrieving photos or files from cloud storage all take advantage of the security features of encryption.
Penal labor in the U.S. is explicitly allowed by the 13th Amendment of our Constitution. The amendment outlaws slavery or involuntary servitude in the U.S., except when serving as punishment for a crime where the person has been “duly convicted”.
In 1996 Congress passed the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) to decrease the instances of litigation brought to the courts from incarcerated people. For the 25 years since the PLRA was signed into law by President Clinton, prison reform...
Initially, the United States aimed to create a justice system that protected the convicted or accused's rights, with four of the initial 10 amendments focused on this cause. However, punitive policies and federal funds fueled mass incarceration disparity affecting poor and minority households while filling pockets of ...
The use of telephonic communications to solve criminal cases is not a new development but remains a highly controversial topic. Almost 20 years ago, the Los Angeles Times reported on how law enforcement agencies viewed mobile phones as "a powerful resource in investigations and trials.”
At some point in your life, you have probably heard the term "halfway house" in relation to rehabilitation of some form. However, there is little publicly available information regarding these institutions, and few people really know how they function. Essentially, halfway houses are less strict 'community prisons' where ...
Now, more than ever, the U.S. justice system needs skilled law enforcement officers to assist in protecting the innocent, keeping the peace and achieving the ends of justice. From lawyers and secret agents to forensic analysts and probation officers, there are many high-paying jobs within law enforcement.
Today’s criminal justice system faces unique challenges that demand highly trained, dedicated professionals. In the area of criminal justice policy, there are exciting careers in community policing and enforcement, the treatment and rights of victims in the criminal justice process ...
Intrigued by thoughts of international security jobs? Many people have built top-level, lucrative careers with government agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), private contractors, foundations and think tanks. These are careers that require preparation: researching the opportunities...
Intelligence-led policing (ILP) is a system of law enforcement that was first developed in the 1990s and grew in popularity in the U.S. after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.1,2 This policing model relies on advanced data analytics, community involvement, and collaboration with other law enforcement agencies ...
When we ask what organization has the goal of maintaining international peace and security, an answer that quickly comes to mind is the United Nations (UN). Founded in 1945, in the aftermath of World War II, its central mission is “the maintenance of international peace and security.”
This year, discussions of criminal justice reform in this country have changed a great deal. In our presidential primaries, a record number of Democratic candidates’ platforms included the importance of reform.The COVID-19 pandemic and recent social justice protests have brought to light ways in which our entire ...
Many people want to have a meaningful impact on the world, and if you pursue a career in criminal justice, you have the power to do exactly that. So when considering what the best criminal justice jobs are, there's more to think about than just salary.
To someone outside of either field, criminal justice and criminology may sound like two names for the same thing. It's true there is a significant amount of overlap between criminology and criminal justice — but they are two distinct, if related, fields.
Detectives in movies and books have long captured the imaginations of people of all ages. While these fictional portrayals spark considerable interest in detective careers, they've also led to some confusion about what detectives actually do.
Few positions within the field of criminology and criminal justice have as much allure in popular culture today as crime scene investigation (CSI) jobs. Of course CSI careers in reality are not exactly like the versions of them you may see on television; their day-to-day work can be more mundane, and they require serious training and education to do them well. But if you are willing to put in the time and energy to channel your inner David Caruso and pursue a CSI career path, you may find it a creative and rewarding opportunity to work on the cutting edge of law enforcement technology.
Whether you currently work in law enforcement or are seeking a new career that will allow you to fight crime and protect your community, becoming a criminal investigator can open a range of challenging and satisfying paths. Being a criminal investigator allows you to operate independently, solve problems, and give back to the community.
With 31 years of teaching experience and multiple degrees to his name, Dr. Allen Lowery brings a wealth of skills and knowledge to Kent State University’s online Master of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Dr. Lowery also has 11 years of law enforcement experience, four of which came during his time with the U.S. Army, where he was a Captain of Military Police.
What is criminal behavior, and what causes it? How a society answers these fundamental questions plays an essential role in how it responds to crime, from developing crime prevention programs to designing incarceration systems and rehabilitating criminals. As part of this effort, criminologists and experts across related fields such as healthcare, sociology and psychology work toward an understanding of the causes of criminal behavior, both by proposing new theories and testing existing ones.
July 30, 2018
While crime frequently dominates the news cycle, media outlets often sensationalize the lives of perpetrators while the needs of victims are all too often overlooked. Those most deeply affected tend to have their stories buried and their voices silenced, even as criminals sometimes rise to the status of pseudo-celebrities. Shifting the focus back to victims of crime ensures that these individuals are considered in studies of criminal justice and by policymakers, preventing a one-sided story. This is called victimology: the scientific study of the physical, emotional and financial harm people suffer because of criminal activities.
“Community corrections” refers to any program that supervises offenders outside of the prison system, including probation, parole, work release, day reporting centers or residential “halfway house” programs. Community corrections has a long history in the United States, where there are presently two offenders on parole or probation for every individual currently serving time in prison.
“Terrorism” is a term that holds strong connotations in the United States and across the world. If the Oxford Dictionary defines terrorism as “the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in pursuit of political aims,” then we can define counter-terrorism as the lawful protection of civilians against violence and political persecution.
Criminology is a branch of sociology that focuses on the causes, effects and social impact of crimes. In many ways, the social aspect of criminology defines the field. For the criminologist, the ability to shift between conveying information with authority and listening carefully with compassion lies at the heart of communication in criminal justice. No matter what role you fill in this field, communication—both written and oral—is the number one skill you can polish in preparation for a criminology career.
As technology evolves, it adapts to our social habits and expectations while simultaneously broadening our awareness of local, national and international current events. In recent years, this has included greater awareness of community-police relations, a few specific instances of which have had tragic outcomes and caused public scrutiny of modern policing tactics. The cumulative impact of these incidents, in conjunction with an increasingly all-encompassing and remotely accessible internet, has necessitated the integration of more and smarter technology into contemporary police work.
Severe punishments for drug-related offenses—particularly possession of marijuana—have historically triggered global public outcry, causing many nations to rethink their approach to the applicable drug laws.
October 04, 2017
If you've looked into a career in criminology and criminal justice, you've likely noticed how different types of crime can feed into hiring trends across the industry. In our infographic below, you can view 10 fast facts that help fuel the growing career opportunities in the field.