There are a number of ways in which an individual is able to couple criminology and the practices of forensic science in order to catch a criminal. In some cases, the individual is profiled through criminology and matched up to the forensic evidence left at the scene of the crime. However, there are a number of other ways in which the two genres are used together in order to bring about justice within the penal system. Criminology is the study of how science and environment affects the criminal mind, as well as the interaction between individuals or communities and the criminal element. Forensic science is the area of study in which individuals are able to transform one small piece of information into something of substance. In many cases, forensic scientists are able to use pieces of forensic evidence and what they learn from this piece in order to effectively illustrate either a link between and individual and the crime or an alibi for the individual wrongly accused of a crime.
A few major career focus areas for forensic scientists exist. Criminology areas of expertise range as well, although they are all trained by learning similar material in school. Forensic science fields are especially diverse and offer unique benefits within each one. Together, the members of the forensic science and criminology teams are able to work together in order to piece together their separate information to come up with one solution near completion, based on the facts they have all gathered. For example, a police officer working as a criminology expert may be able to psychologically profile a suspect, but they would require the help of a forensic scientist in order to match carpet fibers from the crime scene to carpet fibers in the suspect’s home or vehicle. By linking together all the separate notions that each individual is able to learn, a complete or near complete timeline of the suspect and crime can be composed. With enough evidence, this can be taken before a court and the trial will begin against the alleged suspect.
Some of the categories that exist for individuals involved in forensic work include medical examiners that inspect corpses, crime laboratory analysts that are able to look at the chemical and biological makeup of pieces of evidence, crime scene examiners, and those that assist in a technical or academic capacity. Through the combination of these different branches, coupled with the work of criminologists, crimes can be pieced together in a more logical and straightforward way, in order to illustrate to juries and judges the events of the crime and suspected individual. This is especially important because in serious cases the jury has to be in agreement that there is no reasonable doubt on the part of the individual defendant’s role in the crime. In other cases, the defense will use the forensic evidence in order to clear their defendant of the charge or charges against them. By using virtually irrefutable evidence of a scientific nature, the jury and the judge are able to clearly see how crimes are or are not linked to the suspect.