A penologist is a professional who specializes in the study and practice of penology, which is the branch of criminology that focuses on the punishment, management, and rehabilitation of individuals who have committed crimes. Penologists are concerned with various aspects of the criminal justice system, including the design and operation of prisons, the development of rehabilitation programs for offenders, and the assessment of sentencing policies.
Penologists often work in roles such as prison administrators, probation officers, parole officers, criminal justice researchers, and policymakers. They play a crucial role in shaping the policies and practices related to the incarceration and treatment of individuals involved in the criminal justice system. Their goal is typically to find effective ways to reduce recidivism (the likelihood of reoffending) and promote the successful reintegration of offenders into society while ensuring public safety.