There have been a number of theories within the area of criminology by people from different disciplines and each tries to explain different aspects of criminality and elements within the penal system. The classical school of criminology mainly refers to the eighteenth century work by two prominent philosophers, Cesare Beccaria and Jeremy Bentham. By looking at their ideas on free will, deterrence theories and the development of both into the modern world, it is possible to view the changes that have occurred which partly share the views of these theories. Other figures such as Thomas Hobbes and John Locke have also made an impact in this free will school of thought, which has now evolved into what is known as the rational choice theory. This classical theory and rational choice theory describes the free will that an individual has in society to commit a crime based on their internal measurement of risk versus reward and the pleasure that could potentially be gained from a crime carried out, whether it be petty theft or something that is more of a major offense such as armed robbery. The social contract theory and the two deterrence categories have also played a role in societies formulation of laws and the corresponding punishments, however these have also evolved over time due to the major structural changes within countries justice systems.
The classical theory of criminology started in the eighteenth century by philosophers Jeremy Bentham and Cesare Beccaria, who embraced the view that all human behaviour was the result of rational thought processes, and any crime was committed rationally and done with a sense of logic. There was the view by Beccaria that punishment was necessary for social order, and he called f...
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...r criminal acts and can provide a useful framework for analysing crime control policies. Early classical criminology attributed the crimes committed as a result of the ‘calculations’ that the offender makes whereby the rewards were weighed against the costs (the existing punishment or penalty). This later formally developed into the rational choice theory, which further expanded upon these ideas and proposal as a useful tool in crime prevention strategies in different social settings. The notion that people and offenders act rationally was challenged, due to its simplistic view, however ideas and thoughts from classical criminology are still evident in todays judicial system. More recent theories and scientific explanations have aided in the understanding of criminal behaviour, and have better formed a basis for exploring the causes of crime and criminal motivations.
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- Introduction There have been a number of theories within the area of criminology by people from different disciplines and each tries to explain different aspects of criminality and elements within the penal system. The classical school of criminology mainly refers to the eighteenth century work by two prominent philosophers, Cesare Beccaria and Jeremy Bentham. By looking at their ideas on free will, deterrence theories and the development of both into the modern world, it is possible to view the changes that have occurred which partly share the views of these theories.... [tags: Crime, Criminal law, Criminology]
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