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Essay on Criminology in the Past and Today

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The Law today is a summary of various principles from around the world from the past and the present. Early practises of law were the foundation of the law that we know and abide by today. These practises were referred to as the Classical school. Over time however, different criminologist have altered and greatly improved the early, incomplete ideas and made them more complete and practical to more modern times. This newer version is referred to as the Positivist school. This rapid change from the classical to the positivist perspective was due to the change and growth of civilization. Even though one perspective came from another, they are still different in many ways and it is evident when relating them to section 462.37, Forfeiture of Proceeds of Crime, and section 810, Sureties to keep the Peace. The Classical School of criminology’s time of dominance was between 1700 and 1800. Its conception of deviance was that deviance was a violation of the social contract. Classical theorists believed that all individuals were rational actors and they were able to act upon their own free will. A person chose to commit crimes because of greed and because they were evil. The primary instrument that could be used in regards to the classical school to control crime was to create “criminal sanctions that instil fear of punishment in those contemplating criminal acts” (Gabor 154). Classical school theorists believed the best defence was a good offence and therefore they wanted to instil so much fear into people about what would happen to them if they were to commit a crime that even those who were only thinking of committing a crime were impacted greatly. The classical school individuals operated entirely on free will and it was their ...


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...ch towards section 810, Sureties to Keep the Peace. The Positivist School thinker would be the exact opposite as they would not be so much for section 462.37 but completely for section 810. Both schools of thought have their own advantages and disadvantages which would impact society in a tremendous way. It is relieving to see that in the 21st century, societies around the world have adopted more of the advantageous ideas and not as many disadvantageous ideas. Nonetheless, the Classical School and the Positive School work best when fused together; it should be called the Classical Positive School of Criminology.


Works Cited


Bentham, Jeremy. "An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation." Jacoby, Joseph E. Classics of Criminology. Illinois: Waveland Press, INC, 2004. 105-109.
Gabor, Thomas. Basics of Criminology. Mcgraw-Hill Ryerson, 2010.



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