Criminal justice as an academic discipline: Costs and benefits

Vincent J. Webb, Dennis E. Hoffman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


One of the stages through which any new field must pass is academic legitimation. The field of criminal justice is presently in this stage of striving for acceptance within the academic community. Recently, criticism of the field as well as legitimizing activities seem to have increased. In the course of the debate about the appropriate location and identity of criminal justice, it can be expected that the issue of disciplinary status for criminal justice will gain prominence. The issue of disciplinary status for the field of criminal justice is considered in terms of the advantages and disadvantages of disciplines. Also, assets of a multidisciplinary status are presented and "cost" comparisons are made between disciplines and multidisciplinary fields. While there seem to be points in favor of disciplines, an analysis of some of the weaknesses of disciplines suggests that continuance of a more synthetic and open approach is preferable for the field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-355
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Criminal Justice
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1978
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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