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Epidemiological Criminology  

Ali Rowhani-Rahbar and Haylea Hannah

Health and crime are interrelated in numerous ways. Criminal offending can influence health outcomes, while health and well-being can change the likelihood of criminal offending. In addition, tools of the criminal justice system can affect health, while health policy may influence criminal offending. Notably, the tools of the public health and criminal justice system can work synergistically or antagonistically to impact both health and crime outcomes. Epidemiological criminology (EpiCrim) has been viewed as a paradigm linking the methods of public health with those of the criminal justice system and integrating epidemiological theories and practices with their corresponding theories and tools in criminology. The specific contribution of this framework is toward the development of strategies and interventions that address multiple factors underlying health and criminal behavior at different biopsychosocial levels. The overarching premise of this paradigm is that sustained and intentional efforts toward applying the principles of EpiCrim could improve health and well-being and reduce criminal behavior in manners that exceed the contribution of each field separately.