Within the past decade
the research focus of Criminal Justice has broadened dramatically.
Justice Studies long have been the domain of sociological inquiry, using
quantitative statistical methods to examine the impact of law
enforcement, the courts and penal systems. Systems Criminology is
the field in which we investigate the societal impact of criminal
justice systems and, indeed, quantitative methods are our tools.
Although this is time well-spent. it narrowly limits our scope of
research to the sociological aspects of government institutions.
If one is to investigate how a criminal justice institution can better
operate within the larger framework of government, a matter of great
importance in criminal justice management, Systems Criminology alone
cannot provide the key.
discipline in which we examine institutional behavior is that of
Political Science. Tools in economics and game theory along with
quantitative statistical methods are used in examining institutional
behavior. Therefore, by embracing Political Science methodologies
we broaden our capacity to scientifically address government management
issues in criminal justice institutions. As a political scientist
immersed in comparative international studies of criminal justice
institutions, I sincerely hope that you will join me in this fascinating
field of study, this new day in research wherein we examine criminal
justice institutions not only as social actors, but also as political actors.
California State University
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The Tower of London