Classical Theory And Positive Theory Essay example

Classical Theory And Positive Theory Essay example

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“In what ways have classical theory and positive theory influenced the criminal justice system?”

For the past two hundred years the presence of a policing system has been existent in order to manage and maintain control within the UK. Within this essay the Author will analyze the characteristics between the two theories, classical and positivism, acknowledgement of the main element of each theory and founders contributions, finally, whether these were related to the criminal justice system in place today in the 20th century.


Classical theory corresponds to the criminal justice system during the 18th century in relation to the date the main concept of this theory was to provide a more reasonable approach to crime and the punishment. The concept of classical theory was considered the work of thinking using enlightenment, therefore meaning that the main aims of this theory were to provide a more considered and fairer systems when punishments were given out in order to gain control of a nation. Classical theory was considered to be the only theory to look at the prevention of crime and not the individual committing the crime consequently one of the main reasons for the two founders to create such a theory was due to the harsh realities of the criminal justice system that was in place before 1789. (School, n.d.)


Classical theory was that natural punishment could be used in proportional to that of the crime committed. The basis of proportional punishment is outlined, as there should be an equal severity of punishment to the crime that has been committed. The idea of a punishment that fits it crime was introduced in Beccaria’s Dei delitti e delle pene. (South et al. 2009) Jeremy Bentham an English utilitarian philosopher prepared ...


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...h information about what will happen if a criminal act is carried out. This method of prevention also helps children to develop their knowledge and understanding that a bad act will result in punishment where as a good act will be praised. Classical theory has not only influenced the system in providing education by providing a prison system that is fair and just to everyone no matter what there status is. Today’s criminal system has help to provide order to society, as well as this it has influenced the majority of people to refine from crime. (Welsh & Farrington 2012, pp.128–133)
Based on all the information provide were are able to see that the more dominate theory was classical due to its concept of preventing crime before it start where as positivism isn’t considered to be useful within todays society due to the number of health aspect that change DNA structure.

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