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18 May 2011

Criminology - A neglected field


The idea of criminology was seeded by academicians and police professionals initially in the form of a master’s programme in public universities, mainly the University of Sindh and the University of Karachi. These universities have produced several batches of postgraduates in criminology, exceeding 200 in number. Criminology is the youngest discipline in the social sciences (master’s degree), combining core courses such as fundamentals of criminology, criminal justice system, Islamic perspective of crime, research methodology, juvenile delinquency and female criminality, criminal psychology, terrorism and violence, penology civil rights and liberties, criminal investigation methods, and policing and research dissertation.
Postgraduates in criminology have been completely forgotten in the past while advertising for jobs. The departments/organizations creating vacancies do not mention criminology as a preferred qualification even while announcing jobs in law-enforcement, investigation and similar areas. Sociologists, psychologists and law graduates unjustifiably fill vacancies in Pakistan which genuinely belong to criminologists. Recently, the Punjab Public Service Commission advertised the post of a PAROLE /PROBATION (17/2009) OFFICER which a Master degree in Social Work or Social Welfare or Sociology or Rural Sociology from Recognized University rather than criminology was required.
When the rights of criminologists who are dedicated in pursuing their careers and have self-financed their education are usurped, the pains they feel is exactly like that of professional doctors who are neglected where quacks are preferred by society. It is the government that ultimately is tasked with determining the course for criminologists as professionals in crime-prevention how much is it professionally justified to recruit an assistant superintendent of police through the Federal Public Service Commission without the candidate having any relevant qualification, but belonging usually to professions like medical science, engineering, arts, etc.? The same goes for police investigators serving at higher cadres in criminal investigation. The security sector, public as well as private, must adjust criminologists and utilize their expertise.
Let the government and other organizations know the potential and worth of criminologists as positive stakeholders in making peace and restoring order in society.
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