Theoretically, it is comparatively a new discipline and the product of post WWII era, when the renowned psychologist Langer was instructed, by the British Government, to explore criminal stimulus behind the personality of German Chancellor Adolf Hitler. (Quoted in Wikipedia.org) But in practice, it is as old as human society. The discipline got popularity soon after the psychological investigation of the prisoners of war was started being conducted in England. The basic intention behind it was to assess and estimate the minds of offenders and criminals in order to make laws and establish penalties and punishments on the basis of psychological reasons behind crimes.
Crime is a social phenomenon and exists in each and every culture of the world from the most primitive human tribes and clans to the modern contemporary society. With the increase in population of the world at large, the tribes and communities grew widely and developed into society. The crime rate also got its place along with the growth of civilization with an upward trend and increase. The need of rules and system was felt to preserve peace and harmony. Subsequently, social norms, mores and taboos were determined to bring regularity in society. Socio-cultural and political authorities came into being with the passage of time, to evade disturbance and control deviancy from the prescribed manners prevailing in some specific area. Theories were articulated and researches were conducted in order to acquire information and knowledge in respect of motivation behind crime. Abnormal attitude creating public nuisance was declared as crime against the state and its individuals. Durkheim views crime, states Coser (1977:141), as normal in terms of its occurrence, and even as having positive social functions in terms of its consequences.