Analysis Of Classical And Positive Schools Of Criminology
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Analysis of classical and positive schools of thought of criminology
Schools of thoughts in criminology
Cesare Beccaria must be credited for introducing the formal study of criminology as he is considered to be the first person who studied crime scientifically. In his treatise, On Crimes and Punishments, the plea made by Beccaria helped in eliminating the inhumane and corrupt practices of criminal law administration during his time (Andresen et al, 2019). The analysis shows that the current system of American criminal justice is based on the ideology being proposed by major schools of criminology. Classical and positivist are the two main schools of thought. Classical school of thought claims that an individual break the law with rational free will and understands the outcome and effects of his actions. Classical school of thought, in reaction to the criminal action, claims that society must enforce a punishment that would restrict or fit the crime committed. This school of thought centers on the idea of free will by suggesting that crime is a choice (Du, 2019). On the other hand, a positivist school of thought in criminology argues that crime is not at all a choice. The main idea working behind positivist criminology is that criminals are not criminals by birth claiming that its not the childhood, rather its the nature of a person that drags them towards crimes. Positivist criminology suggests that the characteristics of criminals must be observed to get an insight into their antisocial behavior. Heredity and environmental conditions (societal conditions and pressure) are also analyzed in this school of thought.
Taking into consideration both perspectives of criminology, it could be said that classical school of thought best explains the occurrence of crime in contemporary American society. One of the primary premises of this school of thought believes in the equality of all people, so criminals must be subjected to similar punishment (Treadwell, 2019). It is the free will through which people choose crime, so they must be punished proportionally and swiftly to the crimes. This would be the appropriate way of deterring the crime. Three characteristics of punishment create a difference in whether a person would commit a crime of not (deterrence). Strategies based on the rational choice theory and principles of deterrence greatly reduce the crime rate. Swiftness, certainty, and severity of punishment are responsible for deterrence of crime. The swiftness of punishment means that the more closely and promptly the punishment is given for a crime, the more useful and just it would be. The swiftness of sentencing is directly linked to the deterrence of crime. The certainty of punishment, though moderate, would cast a lasting and stronger impression in the minds of criminals that would prove effective towards deterrence. The severity of punishment would lead to no more crime.
Effectiveness of strategies based on classical school of criminology could be viewed by considering both the human psyche and reduced crime rates, as it has been seen that when people come to know that they would be punished as per the severity of their crime, they try to stay away from any violation of laws (Lynch Bartlett, 2019). Some policies and programs support the right of the State to punish the offenders for the interest of public security. Depending on the hedonistic principle of pain and pleasure, policies point towards the awarding of an individual by keeping in mind both pleasure that criminal derived from crime and pain from which the victim suffered. Equalization of justice is pleaded which claims on equal punishment for the same kind of offense.
Andresen, M. A. (2019).Environmental criminology Evolution, theory, and practice. Routledge.
Du, Y. (2019). Developing an integrated biosocial theory to understand juvenile delinquency from the social, cognitive, affective, and moral (SCAM) perspectives.International Journal of Contemporary Pediatrics,6(2), 1.
Lynch, S. M., Bartlett, B. (2019). Bayesian Statistics in Sociology Past, Present, and Future.Annual Review of Sociology,45.
Treadwell, J. (2019). Qualitative Research in Criminology.
CLASSICAL AND POSITIVE SCHOOLS OF CRIMINOLOGY PAGE MERGEFORMAT 2
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