- Distance Education
The Problem of Crime has been increasing at an alarming rate over the years. Apart from higher incidence and rate of crime, what is much more alarming is the new forms, their nature and pattern of crimes. Though various measures have been taken to combat crime, still it baffles the Criminal Justice Professionals and Policy Makers because of its complexity. On the one hand, traditional forms of crimes like caste and communal violences increase and while new forms of crimes like terrorism, youth violence, corruption, economic offences, crimes against women, child abuse etc., are also increasing on the other.
The contributing factors vary from crime to crime and person to person. This complexity can be understood only through a scientific study of crime and on that basis, policies and programmes can be developed to prevent and control crime and treat offenders. As such, the CJS applies traditional methods while coping with difficult problems of punishing and reforming offenders which have long lost their functional significance. Application of innovative criminologicial and correctional thoughts based on empirical research is required. The size and urgency of the crime problem in India underscores the need for professional training. The study of the nature, cause and treatment of crime is an area which deserves special attention with a separate academic curriculum.
Recognizing the problem, the UNESCO in its report in 1957 strongly appealed for the teaching of Criminology in the Universities throughout the world. According to Mr. Jean Pinatel, "This synthetic science aims at reducing crime and working on the theoretical level to reach this practical goal, it proposes a complete study of crime and the criminal, crime being envisaged not as a judicial abstraction but as a human act, a natural and social fact. The method of observation and experiment should be carried out in the atmosphere of a veritable social cline". This provided a necessary impetus to the formal university teaching of Criminology in the Country.
There are 6 Universities in India offering Post - Graduate degree and research programmes and University of Madras is one among them. The M.A. and Ph.D. Programmes in Criminology at the University of Madras were initially started in the Department of Psychology since 1966. Then the University Grants Commission sanctioned a full fledged Department of Criminology in the year 1982, for which the State Government also gave the concurrence. Thus, the new Department of Criminology came into existence in the University of Madras in April 1983. Though it is a new department , the Department of Criminology is striving for academic excellence through its various research and training activities over the last 2 decades.