Criminologists wanted to understand the nature of crime and why people committed it Some argue that criminology as an independent discipline only emerged about 60 — 70 years ago Garland , and whilst not concerned with studying criminals per se in the same way that we most associate with criminology today, the classical school was hugely influential in the formation of Criminal Justice System as we know it today.
Perplexing and complicated, it appealed to the public audience for various reasons. A mother methodically, drowns her five children in the family bathtub after her husband leaves for work. The classicalist theory says that human are rational beings with a free will to act and once they make a decision they must accept the consequences after it. They are individuals and they make a ration choice. Beccaria and Bentham with those of the early Positivist e. Lombroso, Ferri Garofolo. This has led some researchers to argue that classical criminology cannot be considered as a science Garland Further, researchers have, however, disputed these claims, arguing that the research provided by classical criminologists is useful and has provided a gateway for many criminal justice reforms.
Classicism was also the first approach which suggesting rehabilitation during punishment, rather than concentrating efforts on reprimanding individuals. Positivism argued against the free will components of classicism and suggested that criminal acts were perpetrated because of factors over which the individual had no control.
Positivism has numerous divides, predominantly biological, psychological and sociological, although basic components are broadly shared. The main focal point should be the behaviour of the offender in a means to understand why acts were committed.
As to why an individual has become undersocialised is explained differently within the divisions of positivism, from a social, biological and individual method. Again, positivism is not without criticism. It implies that individual acts are due to determinism and as such, would mean that individuals are unable to refrain from committing crimes, have no control and therefore cannot be held accountable for the crimes they have committed.
The idea that individuals commit crimes because of undersocialisation is criticised by Marxists views that society may not have comparable values and as such, individuals may in fact be rebelling against the views held by those in power.
Positivism further suggested that crime was committed by the lower classes, and as such was unable to account for acts committed by those in high social classes. The positivist concentration on the individual within crime and not the act, could lead to injustices and an overlook of the severity of the crime. The comparison between the classical school and the positivist one appears simple at first.
Classical criminology however argues against the concept of a criminal being defined by a certain type. Bentham stated that every person has free will and is able to make a rational choice based on the situation they are in at the time and what they feel would be the appropriate action to take.
Classicism disagrees with the positivist view of a criminal only being a certain type of person and believes that the criminal derives from within any person. Everybody has free will, and the ability to make an informed decision on their actions in any situation they may be in, therefore believing that the criminal is an element every person has the possibility to exploit instead of positivist theory of the criminal element being biologically woven into a persons DNA.
Classicism had a major effect on the criminal justice system and penology, punishments were believed to be best given on account of the appropriateness of the crime in question.
This idea became the basis for our criminal justice systems today. With the introduction of the classical school of criminology the use of capital punishment and torture was on the decline and in their place the introduction of prison systems as core elements of the justice systems and punishment systems we have today. The abolishment of capital punishment has had an indescribably huge effect on our modern penal systems, the effects are vast however include the introduction of fundamental law like the Human Rights Act HRA Acts like this are incredibly important in criminal trials and allow every person to have rights to things like the right to a fair trial and the right to prohibition of torture.
Classical criminology influenced these modern day laws as its theorists believed in the concept that the punishment for crime should be based on the scale of what has been done and should be appropriate to the crime itself. Classical Criminology has influenced the constructions of our prison systems as becoming the core element of the way we punish criminals instead of using inhumane methods through capital punishment by considering the scale of the crime and deciding on an appropriate sentence for the criminal.
Here another theory can be looked at which has been shaped by the classicism theories and beliefs. This theory is the Rational Choice theory Homas This theory is supportive of Benthams notes of free will and rational choice.
Free will and rational choice can be used to help explain the way we police through public order.Managing Academic Reading Free Criminology Essay Briefly explain classicism and essay in criminology and describe and discuss the and between them. Finally, with writing to contemporary positivism show how classicism and positivism influence our classicism about crime today. Medieval periods saw demonological forces as the coercion behind behaviour .
This theory was first put forward by Howard Becker in , Becker claimed that criminal elements are associated with physical appearance and the criminal becomes a label attached to a certain type of person.