Classical Theory of Criminology Essay

Classical Theory of Criminology Essay

Length: 1517 words (4.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Criminology is the study of why individuals engage or commit crimes and the reasons as to why they behave in certain ways in different situations (Hagan, 2010). Through understanding the reasons or why an individual commits a crime, one can come up with ways to prevent and control crime or rehabilitate criminals. There exist a large number of criminology theories, some link crime to an individual or person; they believe a person weighs the cons and pros and makes a conscious decision on whether to commit or not commit a felony. Others see the society as having a duty to make sure that its members do not engage in criminal acts by providing a secure and safe living place. Some claim that some people have hidden or dormant characteristics that determine their reaction or behavior when confronted or put in particular negative conditions (Akers & Sellers, 2012). By understanding and studying these theories, together with applying them to people, psychologists and authorities can prevent criminals from committing or repeating crimes and aid in their rehabilitation. As many theories have emerged over time, they continue to be surveyed and explored, both individually and in combination in order for criminologists to develop solutions and eventually reduce the levels and types of crime. The most popular criminology theories emphasize on the individual, positivist and classical traits. This paper will explore the classical theory, which is among the earliest theories in criminology.
Classical criminology theory is a legal systems approach, which emerged in the 1700s age of enlightenment. Various philosophers like John Locke, Jeremy Bentham and Cesare Beccaria expanded upon the theory of the social contract to explain the reasons as to wh...

... middle of paper ...

...crime according to the classical theory is the harm it impacts on the society. In his theory, Cesare argues that it would be erratic and illogical if the measure of crimes were to be based on the intentions of the individuals who commit them (Beccaria, 1986). These intentions depend on individuals’ state of mind and the actual impression that objects make this vary from one person to according to changes in ideas, circumstances and passions. It is, therefore, important to formulate a particular code for each and laws for different crimes.


Works Cited

Akers, R. L., & Sellers, C. S. (2012). Criminological Theories: Introduction, Evaluation, and Application. Oxford University Press.
Beccaria, C. (1986). On Crimes and Punishments. Hackett Pub Co.
Hagan, F. E. (2010). Introduction to Criminology: Theories, Methods, and Criminal Behavior. SAGE Publications, Inc.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Origins of Modern Criminology: Classical versus Positive Theory Essay

- By definition criminology is the scientific study of crime as a social phenomenon involving criminals and penal treatment. The origins of criminology are rooted in the 1700s when society believed that crime was a result of supernatural forces. This demonic perspective supported the idea that temptation brought out evil forces in an individual (Cullen & Agnew, 2011, p. 21). Once possessed, a person was lured into sinful behavior. Such beliefs were prevalent and accepted due to the strong connection between the government and religion in implementing rules....   [tags: evil forces, Cesare Beccaria]

Powerful Essays
2072 words (5.9 pages)

Essay on Classical Theory And Positivist Theory

- In what ways have classical theory and positivist theory influenced the criminal justice system’ The main goal of this essay is to introduce how classical theory and positivist theory influenced the criminal justice system in the past and actually. These two theories were discovered in XVIII and XIX centuries. The main contributors which represented classical school were Jeremy Bentham and Cesare de Beccaria. Representative who was preaching positive theory was Cesare Lombroso, Raffaele Garofalo or Enrico Ferri....   [tags: Crime, Criminology, Criminal justice, Law]

Powerful Essays
1604 words (4.6 pages)

The Theory Of The Classical School Essay

- The Classical School was developed between the 1700- 1800 in which criminologist gave their point of view. The Classical School had ties to the enlightenment period, and crime was a result of free will and people making their own choices. This is based on the calculations of the cost and benefits. The incident of crime can be reduced through effective punishment. The way is through when it yields the rewards to be derived from crime commission. The enlightenment period fueled social change, and provide people the free will to think for themselves This help them to reexamine of existing doctrines of human behavior through the perspective of rationalism....   [tags: Criminology, Crime, Economics]

Powerful Essays
1186 words (3.4 pages)

Criminological Theory : The Classical Theory Essay

- Criminological Theory – The Classical Theory Criminals come from all walks of life. Some are wealthy business owners while others are poverty-stricken and homeless. Some are 60 years old while others are 16. What makes people decide to become a criminal. Why does one person who gets arrested and faces punishment learn from the mistake and does nothing illegal again while others become prison regulars. Criminological theory seeks to answer these questions in an effort to mold societal influence and implement programs to deter people from committing crimes....   [tags: Criminology, Crime, Criminal justice]

Powerful Essays
1079 words (3.1 pages)

Essay on The Classical School Of Criminology

- 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]

Powerful Essays
1670 words (4.8 pages)

The Classical School Of Criminology Essay

- 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....   [tags: Crime, Criminology, Criminal justice]

Powerful Essays
1440 words (4.1 pages)

Classical Theory And Positive Theory Essay example

- “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....   [tags: Criminology, Criminal justice, Crime, Prison]

Powerful Essays
1530 words (4.4 pages)

Essay on The Classical School Of Criminology

- Introduction Since the early time of man there has been crime. From petty theft to rape, murder and the like, it has always been a part of our society. Criminology seeks to prevent criminal behavior both on individual and social levels. Criminology consists of many theories that attempt to explain why criminal acts are committed and break them down into parts that can be understood. A major Criminological theory that exists today is that known as the Classical Theory. The Classical Theory is very Nature of the Theory The Classical school of criminology was brought about during the 18th century in a time of penal and criminological reformation....   [tags: Criminology, Crime, Sociology, Criminal justice]

Powerful Essays
1729 words (4.9 pages)

Criminology: The Evolution of Crime Essay

- Criminology has evolved over history into becoming a discipline all its own, along the way it grew and developed from a multiple sources of disciplines to become an integration of various theories. Reasons that seek to explain crime and deviant behaviors has mirrored the time in which research was being conducted and as time continues to change it is to be expected more theories will arise to incorporate past theories to become ever more inclusive. It is important to understand this development from the formulation of theories, the evolution of, the determining factors in testing, particular process such as social learning that are upheld as strong empirically sound theories in order for sch...   [tags: theory, discipline, classical school]

Powerful Essays
1013 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on Criminology : The Discipline Of Criminology

- 1. According to the book, the discipline of criminology is constituted by subareas such as criminal statistics, sociology of law, theory construction, criminal behavior systems, penology, and victimology. The statistical subarea “involves calculating the amounts and trends of criminal activity” (Siegel 5). This means that with the help of statistics, a profile of criminal behavior can be created with the help of research methods, and measuring the results. The criminologist will “formulate techniques for collecting and analyzing” information, develop surveys, and create a database in order to test their theories (Siegel 5)....   [tags: Criminology, Crime, Sociology, Criminal justice]

Powerful Essays
1003 words (2.9 pages)