The “Kriminologisches Journal” (KrimJ) is a quarterly scientific journal which is published by Beltz-Juventa. The journal features original scientific articles, discussion papers, practice and research reports on criminological theory and practice in German and English language. The thematic focus is on critical approaches to the structures and measures of social control bodies. All manuscripts undergo selective editorial and peer-review assessment prior to acceptance for publication. The peer-review process is strictly anonymous.

The “Kriminologisches Journal” is available both in print and online. Single issues and subscriptions are available at Beltz Juventa.

Issue 1/2020


Special Issue: "Visual Criminology"











Full Papers

Fragmentierte Sichtbarkeiten: Visualität, Sichtbarkeit und Unsichtbarkeit beim Umgang mit wissenschaftlichem Fehlverhalten (German)

Fragmented Visibilities: Visuality, Visibility, and Invisibility in Dealing with Scientific Misconduct

Felicitas Heßelmann and Martin Reinhart

While scandals involving cases of scientific fraud or plagiarism have attracted considerable attention for the issue of scientific misconduct, much of how misconduct is handled at universities, journals, and other academic institutions remains relatively unknown. Developing the theoretical distinction between invisibility, visibility, and visuality, this contribution seeks to gain a better understanding of the contrast between highly visible scandals and invisible routine investigations and sanctions for scientific misconduct. It is argued that such a fragmentation of visibilities is shaped by the fragmentation and instability of penal authority in academia, as well as it further contributes to it.


Visualisierter Verdacht: zur geheimdienstlichen Sehensordnung im Spiegel von Stasi-Unterlagen (German)


Visualised Suspicion: The Seeing Order of the Stasi Files

Olga Galanova

The administrative work with images and texts in files of the State Security Service of the GDR (Stasi) gives way to the question of what the visualising order of Stasi files says about the professional vision of the Security Service. The article gives an overview of various visual genres in Stasi files and describes visual practices of the constitution of suspicion. The main result of the visualisation is the securing of institutional power through the decontextualization of private life events.


Die Sichtbarmachung des Heroinkonsums (German)

The Visualisation of Heroin Use

Lisa Scheibe

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the role of visualisations in drug prevention, especially in the field of heroin prevention. I argue that visualisations need to be part of the empirical analysis of reality construction in order to better understand how everyday knowledge about heroin use is constituted. Moreover, the contribution that emotions make to this knowledge field should be considered. This argument is theoretically based on the concept of social constructivism by Berger and Luckmann.


Discussion Papers

Bewegende Beweise – Bilder als Stimuli für eine andere Strafzumessungsforschung. Ein Plädoyer (German)

Moving Evidence. A Plea to Include Images as Incentive for a Different Research on Sentencing


Selma Lamprecht

As a result of the ‚iconic age‘ and the diversity of visual formats, the significance of images as evidence grows. Still, images and their specific characteristics are not yet an issue in German research on sentencing. The consideration of images and emotionality (as a specific property attributed to images) can enrich this field of research not only as an influencing factor. This article outlines the analysis of visual evidence as an impulse for opening up and changing the question of research on sentencing itself.

Die fotodokumentarische Tradition: Auf Abwegen zu einer sinnlicheren Kriminologie (German)

The Photodocumentary Tradition: Drifting Toward a More Sensual Criminology


Jeff Ferrell

Dorothea Lange, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank and other founders of the photodocumentary tradition developed a distinct set of techniques and sensibilities in their efforts to document visually the particulars of the social world. In this sense their work produced not only a collection of striking documentary photographs, but an innovative methodology for engaging with social groups and social issues. This methodology incorporates dynamics of dislocation, fluidity, immediacy, absence, empathy and immersion, all while maintaining an innate modesty as to method itself. Because of this the photodocumentary tradition and its methodology stand in contrast and corrective to the often rigid, fetishized methods of criminology and other contemporary social sciences. Certainly the photodocumentary tradition offers insights into image and visual representation; equally important are its insights into essential methods of human engagement and interpretation.

Conference Reports

„Opfer//Täter-Inversionen. Mediale Studien zu Täterhandeln und Gewalterfahrungen“. Report on a multidisciplinary conference on June 14th 2019 at the Humboldt-Universität Berlin (Dürmeier/Günther/Schulthess)

Book Reviews

Axel Doßmann, Susanne Regener: Fabrikation eines Verbrechers. Der Kriminalfall Bruno Lüdke als Mediengeschichte (Lautmann)





Open-Access publications

Open Access publications

From issue 1/2022 onwards all English-language papers published in the Kriminologisches Journals will be made available as open access papers. The papers can be downloaded from the publisher's homepage or via content-select. Additionally the download links can be found if you click on the respective issues.

German papers can also be published via open access within the framework of the usual conditions of our publisher Beltz Juventa.

Changes on the Editorial Board

New editors-in-chief of the Kriminologisches Journal

As of Issue 2/2021the position of editor-in-chief passed over from Meropi Tzanetakis to Christine Graebsch and Jens Puschke.

Drugs and Digital Technologies

Call for Abstracts for a special issue of the KrimJ

Illicit drug markets are undergoing a significant transformation: digital technologies have a profound influence on how illicit drugs are accessed, and they have also changed information- sharing about drugs. In addition, the proliferation of information and communication technologies has changed law enforcement activity. Digitalisation also comes with rapid changes in communicative environments across time and geographic location. While online forums and other internet resources have massively increased the amount of available information and discourse on psychoactive substances for more than two decades, mobile phones, encrypted platforms, cryptocurrencies, social media and messaging applications have recently diversified the ways in which illicit drugs are distributed. This diversity includes hybrid forms of distribution, e.g. using social media applications to make physical appointments.


New Editorial Board

New Editors of the Kriminologisches Journal

As of January 1st 2021 the Editorial Board of the Kriminologisches Journal consists of Prof. Dr. Jens Puschke LL.M, Dr. Meropi Tzanetakis, Dr. Simon Egbert, Prof. Dr. Christine Graebsch, Prof. Dr. Dörte Negnal und Dr. Bernd Werse.