Established in 1989, the Korean Institute of Criminology (KIC) is the only national crime and criminal justice research agency in the Republic of Korea. In 1999, as a member of the Korean Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences, the KIC became an entity within the Office of the Prime Minister.
In response to rapidly changing criminal environment, the KIC conducts comprehensive and interdisciplinary research on justice reform, criminal law reform, international organized crime, including human trafficking, drugs and corruption, technology related crimes, including cyber crime. With over 30 researchers in law, sociology, psychology and criminology, the KIC publishes more than 50 research reports every year. KIC also publishes the quarterly "Korean Criminal Review", a major journal on crime and criminal law in Korea.
Since joining the United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme Network (PNI) in 2005, the KIC has collaborated actively with UNODC and other PNI members. The KIC has been promoting cooperation and information exchange in technical assistance and research activities, particularly on trafficking in human beings, drug trafficking, money laundering, smuggling of migrants and financial and economic crime. At the end of 2007 the KIC signed a cooperation agreement with UNODC to enhance the fight against crime in cyber space.
In June 2021, the Korean Institute of Criminology has been renamed to the Korean Institute of Criminology and Justice (KICJ) with a view to expanding the research frontier in justice policy beyond the boundary of criminology.