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Classical V Positivist Essay

804 words - 4 pages


There are two schools of thoughts when dealing with criminology, they are;

classical and positivist criminology. The two meaning entirely the opposite, classical criminology is based on committing crimes by “free will” while positivist criminology deals with committing crime due to the impact of one’s’ environment.

Cesare Beccaria helped make the present day Judicial System what it is; his thought process was in the beliefs of the classical theory. The Classical criminology theory is established on the thought process that committing a crime is a “choice” that individuals make on their own. It is only human nature to know the difference ...view middle of the document...

He believes that it is no longer rooted in those beliefs, his belief is that integrative criminology is the up and coming theories that criminologist will start basing their research on. However, it does consider the ideas of several other theories and composes one based on, not choice nor environment; but, strain, control and social learning which deals with class, race and gender as being factors of why people commit crimes (Barak, 2002).

Another theory studied is the Rational Choice and Deterrence Theory which focuses on the “cost of the crime”. This idea consists of the criminal having the mindset to determine the benefits and/or the punishment of a crime prior to committing it. For instance; they ask themselves “is it really worth it”, they compare the crime to the punishment. This in turn helps them decide whether or not they will be committing the crime in question. Perhaps the best concept connected to this theory was the Retributive Theory and Just Desert “Simply put, if criminals and deviants choose to engage in their disruptive and threatening behaviors, they deserve to be punished. The focus here is not on the future and what an individual may do. It is not concerned with prevention or rehabilitation. The aim here is to punish people for what they have done. Punish all individuals who violate the same norm in the same way. No exceptions, no mercy (Keel).

Emile Durkheim perceives that the...

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