Criminal Justice Glossary
Criminology History & Crime Scene Terms

Studying for a criminal justice career?

Use this criminal justice glossary of terms & definitions as a guidebook to an A+ on all criminology degree exams

Without a criminology glossary, many of us would be hopelessly lost when it comes to the practices of law and order in modern times.

Using a vocabulary that often seems to be of a language other than English, it's hard for the uninitiated to understand the ins and outs of criminology history, terms and its modern applications.

If you are interested in a career in criminal justice, either in the courtroom, in the office, or on the streets, it's important that you have a basic foundation in the language.

Below, is a thorough glossary of criminal justice terms to give you a step in the right direction and a guide to crime scene investigator history and why the terms we use today were first put into practice.

Criminal Justice Glossary of Terms

Here's a brief starter guide to crime scene investigator glossary of terms.

All of the strange words and phrases that are used in the criminal justice system could fill a large volume, so think of this as merely the first step down the long road to uncovering everything you might need to know for criminology degrees.

  • Accomplice: A partner of a crime
  • Acquittal: The finding of a defendant 'not guilty'
  • Caveat: A note of caution or warning
  • Dissolution: The termination or dissolving of something, as a contract or binding document
  • Esquire: In the United States, it's a title given to an attorney, usually found at the end of his or her name
  • Indictment: A written accusation that charges a person with a crime
  • Judiciary: The branch of government tasked with interpreting and applying the law, including courts, judges, and juries.
  • Lien: The legal burden of a property
  • Ordinance: A law or rule established by authorities
  • Subpoena: A command given to someone, directing them to appear at a given time and place to testify or witness

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Crime Scene Investigator History

Because we draw from a vast criminal justice and criminology history, from countries and cultures all over the world for thousands of years, some of the words and phrases we use today aren't easy to understand.

Quite a few of these difficult entries in the criminal justice glossary (the big, theoretical one) are based in Latin-- and some are even completely Latin.

Whether we keep using these phrases as a tribute to the origins of modern day criminal justice, or just because there's really never been a need to change them, it's important for you to know them.

The best way to become familiar with the words and terms you'd find in a criminology degree glossary is to read.

Go to your local library and pick up any books you can find that might help you get a better grasp on the vocabulary of today's system of law and order.

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