The Classical School Of Criminology Essay

The Classical School Of Criminology Essay

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The classical school of criminology which was originally developed in the eighteenth century still has power in the crime prevention which is utilized in our criminal justice system in the United States today (Siegel, 2011). In fact, utilizing the very principles of the classical school of criminology lays the groundwork, in some ways, to how we prevent crime today. The components of the classical school of criminology are that people have free will, crime can be attractive, crime can possibly be controlled when there is a fear of punishment, and that punishment which is “severe, certain, and swift” will deter criminal behavior more than punishment which is not (Siegel, 2011, p. 9, para. 1). The specific deterrence basically states that criminal sanctions should be so powerful that known criminals will never repeat their criminal acts (Siegel, 2011, p. 100, para. 1). The general deterrence is reasoning that crime can be controlled by increasing the real or perceived threat of criminal punishment (Siegel, 2011, p. 95, para. 10). In today’s society, the ways in which criminals are deterred by seeing the result of court cases in the media, as well as being told by word of mouth from their colleagues, friends, and family about others who have been sentenced for such crimes as they may be wanting to commit. It is the responsibility of the legal system to give a big enough sentence for each crime so that the specific deterrence can be reached. It is the responsibility of all of society, particularly during a person’s upbringing, and the media, to fully explain the punishments and the extent of different punishments as far as what each respective one entails to generally deter criminal behavior. It is also extremely important tha...


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...iminal just how severe a punishment can be (Siegel, 2011, p. 100, para. 1). General deterrence, on the other hand, shows all criminals a perception of the real threat of punishment (Siegel, 2011, p. 95, para. 10). Criminals attract criminals, and criminals also have access to media outlets, so they have ample opportunities to see the results and hear about the results of being caught for crimes. However, the legal and judicial systems have a moral responsibility to make sure criminals see that crimes get harsh punishments. All of society, a person’s parents or guardians, and the media have to make sure the punishments for particular crimes are well known to avoid their respective audiences from making the same mistakes. The rational choice theory is an excellent method to use, provided ample material is given to a criminal to see that crime simply does not pay.

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