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 3/2023



Issue 2/2023










Full Paper

Policing the Overdose Crisis (English)

Sandra Bucerius, Harvey Krahn, Kevin Haggerty, Luca Berardi & Rebekah McNeilly

The opioid overdose crisis in Canada continues to claim the lives of people who use drugs (PWUD). Historically, Canadian crime policy has prioritized crime control forms of surveillance, interdiction and punishment in response to drug use. More recently, harm reduction measures have gained traction, including safe consumption sites (SCS) and police officer use of Naloxone to assist PWUD who have overdosed on opioids. The effectiveness of harm reduction efforts, however, is to some degree contingent on their embrace or acceptance by police agencies and officers. This paper is based on research conducted on the two largest city-level police services in Alberta, Canada. We conducted 94 interviews with officers and had 1,406 officers complete a quantitative survey on issues relating to illicit drugs, overdoses, and fentanyl. Our findings show that police officers generally see opioid use as a serious problem and are concerned about the dangers they face when dealing with PWUD. There is also considerable confusion about the nature and severity of these dangers. Even so, attitudes appear to be shifting and some police officers are changing their practices. In general, our research documents a softening of police attitudes in Canada towards SCS facilities and harm reduction more generally. This greater embrace of a public health orientation could improve the lives of PWUD and their interaction with law-enforcement in Canada. Given the prospect that fentanyl and related synthetic opioids will continue their global spread, these findings should be of interest to an international audience of scholars, police, and healthcare officials.

Open Access

Download via Content-Select


Unterhaltsame Verhaltensdirektive. Über die Relevanz anthropomorpher Tierdarstellungen in der Drogenprävention (German)

Entertaining directives. On the significance of anthropomorphic animal illustrations in drug prevention

Tabea Louis & Bettina Paul

Drug risk communication is alternately located in the field of tension between criminalisation and healthism. The use of graphic animals to convey risk messages shows historical continuity, as the article illustrates with two case studies. Through the visual styles of fictional animals, an anthropomorphic personification of behavioral directives can be observed. These stand in contrast with campaigns that rely on direct visual deterrence, while they are seen as emancipatory campaigns by their creators. Thus, cartoon-animals become an antagonistic medium in many ways: they promise entertainment far removed from directives, while indirectly problematising anticipated risks of both legal and illegal drugs.

Download via Content-Select


Formen von Kriminalität. Zur historischen Hervorbringung differentieller Kriminalitätswirklichkeiten (German)

Forms of crime. On the Historical Creation of Divergent Realities of Crime

Bernd Dollinger

The contribution is based on the assumption that crime does not stand for itself but is always perceived and presented in a specific way. This is done very differently in the form of reports, statistics, pictorial representations, narratives or other. Each of these forms has special characteristics and shapes the content of the representation. With regard to this form-dependent representation of crime, a telling situation arose around 1800: punishments were to be organized by the state, instrumentally focused, and in their execution oriented to the subjectivity and morality of those punished. In the course of this ambition, three forms of representing crime gained particular relevance: crime stories, biographical tables, and crime statistics. These three forms are presented in the article in their specificity and compared with each other. They are forms of representation that are still relevant today and compete with each other on the question of how to depict crime.

Download via Content-Select


Weil nicht sein kann, was nicht sein darf – Sexualität als mehrdimensionales Tabu im deutschen Jugendstrafvollzug (German)

Sexuality as a Multidimensional Taboo in German Juvenile Prisons

Julian Knop & David Zimmermann

This article addresses the topic of sexuality and prison by describing the various dimensions of tabooing prison sexuality in the German prison system and by presenting possible explanations for the tabooing processes.

Download via Content-Select

Book Reviews

Hans Dieter Schwind & Jan-Volker Schwind: Kriminologie und Kriminalpolitik. Eine praxisorientierte Einführung mit Beispielen (Fritz Sack)

Matthew Bacon & Jack Spicer: Drug Law Enforcement, Policing and Harm Reduction. Ending the Stalemate (Lorenz Böllinger)

Dominik Hofmann: Impunität. Zur Frage, was es bedeutet, wenn nicht gestraft wird (Sebastian Scheerer)

Download via Content-Select


Download the Full Issue via Content Select



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.