TrOn – Basic principles of criminology and penology

Dr Jonathan Hafferty and Dr Tomasz Bajorek and reviewed by Dr Bettadapura Ashim and Professor Keith Rix

60 minutes

November 2021

TrOn learning module

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"Criminology is an interdisciplinary academic field devoted to the scientific study of crime. Penology is the scientific study of the methods and consequences of the punishment of crime. In the exam syllabus for MRCPsych, criminology and penology are items within the social science and socio-cultural psychiatry section.

The relationship between crime and mental illness is well established, but it is also complex and frequently misunderstood, as we shall explore in detail in this module. There is also a disproportionate level of mental illness and psychiatric vulnerability within the prison system, and prisons are familiar working environments for the psychiatrist. It is thus essential that all psychiatrists have a good basic understanding of the principles of criminology and penology. Indeed, psychiatrists have an important role to play in the continuing development of the criminal justice system.

We hope this module will provide an interesting and accessible introduction to the fascinating disciplines of criminology and penology."


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