In the previous paragraph, the discussion touched on one of the trends we will see in the future of criminology, the criminalization of more and more behavior. Another major changes comes from technology. The Foresight Crime Prevention Panel of the UK “predicts that crime will transcend national borders and that electronic services will become direct targets for crime. “ (BBC News, 2000, para. 7) In the future as in the past there will be a technological arms race between the criminal justice system and criminals. One of the areas I was interested in beginning this program was in cyber crime. I have spent many hours on the Bad Ideas forum at Zoklet.net, and on the deep web black market Silk Road forums, and I believe that a disciplined criminal can conduct a variety of fraud and remain anonymous. On the other hand, to prevent this behavior would necessitate the destruction of a lot of our privacy, even as we see the burrocracy doing so now. The harm the destruction of our privacy far outweighs the harm an “uncatchable” thief does.
(For those of you interested in the discussions of petty criminals see:
For discussion of anonymity and moving money secretly, get the TOR browser and search for the Silk Road forums, which tend to disappear and reappear occasionally)
Even with the advance of technology, it will be possible to integrate some criminalogical theories to meet the challenges of the future; human nature is imutable even if the technology is not. For example, we can look at the behavior of sex predators; the technology has allowed predators access to more victims, but it has not changed their underlying behavior.”This proportion of arrests may have grown since 2000 as Internet use has become more widespread, and more law enforcement agencies have been trained to respond to Internet-related crimes.”(Wolak, Finkelhor, Mitchell, & Ybarra, 2008, p10)
The major factor that limits our ability to study crime today is the inability to gauge the criminals' true intent; beyond the issues of self-reporting, on which criminal may overestimate in bragging, or under report in concealing punishable activity, some crimes committed are from lack of control. They are emotional in nature and not always understood by criminal himself. Underreporting of crime by victims will also remain an obstacle to understanding crime.
Criminalogical theory will always be, in part, able to explain any sort of crime. These theories have been developed by the observation and study of human behavior throughout history, whether from a classical or positivist viewpoint. Even though no one theory can successfully explain all crime, each theory (that is, those based on observation and not political wish casting such as Marxist-based theory) can explain some aspect of crime and can continue to do so. The role criminology can play in counter-terrorism is through the use of the same tools to combat criminals; profiling, relationship mapping. One such tool is statistical analysis. “University of Pennsylvania criminologist Richard Berk, a trained statistician, never met a data set he didn't like. Now, using fresh data from the Philadelphia probation department, Berk and three colleagues have built an innovative model for predicting which troublemakers already in the system are most likely to kill or attempt a killing” (ecollege.com, n.d., p.1)
Although the technology of crime can change, and the definition of crime can vary, human nature itself does not. We experience the same rages, greed, envy, and lust that the Ancients did. The theories of criminology will always be useful in describing the results of these, and sometimes in explaining them, and hopefully, sometimes in preventing them.
Crime-fighting's hi-tech future. (2000, March 25). BBC News. Retrieved May 11, 2014 from http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/690182.stm
ecollege.com. (n.d.) W6_News_Reports. Retrieved May 11, 2014 from http://vizedhtmlcontent.next.ecollege.com/pub/content/6a2e9492-75c8-4a56-8ba2-c65dcbde19af/W6_News_Reports.pdf?eclg_res=176601&eclg_resver=242033
Retrieved May 11, 2014 from http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_24672077/judge-orders-colo-cake-maker-serve-gay-couples
Raine, A. (2013). The anatomy of violence: The biological roots of crime. Kindle Ed. Random House LLC
Silvergate, H. (2009) You, too? Three felonies a day: How the Feds target the Innocent. Retrieved May 11, 2014 from http://www.threefeloniesaday.com/Youtoo/tabid/86/Default.aspx