Difference Between Classical Criminology And Positivism Essay

Difference Between Classical Criminology And Positivism Essay

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The Difference between Classical Criminology and Positivism
Kasey Adelsperger
Dr. Hill
February 2, 2015

The criminology that we use today is a mixture between two schools, the classical and the positivist school. The classical school originated from the 18th century, while the positivist school came from the 19th century. With both following two different revolutions that made many scholars think about the way people act and why they act in such ways. The Classical School came after the Enlightenment period, where many people broke away from the Church and started questioning their knowledge. The positivist school followed the scientific revolution, where many believed that one could not explain reality without using some form of science.
The Classical School of criminology has received this name because it was founded in the “classical period”. Two of the best known authors from this time period were Cesare Beccaria and Jeremy Bentham. Both Beccaria and Bentham suggested that criminal justice administration and the laws that are produced should be built upon rationality and human rights. While during this time period, neither one was being used, but rather the citizens were controlled by the Church. The new way was disregarding the Church’s views due to their natural superiority and for its corrupt political practices. The classical period was full of great thought and rationality (Williams, McShane, 2014, pg. 15).
Some of the major concepts that came from the Classical School was the idea that “humans are free-willed, rational beings; utilitarianism (the greatest good for the greatest number); civil rights and due process of laws; rules of evidence and testimony” (Williams, McShane, 2014, pg. 14). These Enlightenme...


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...lassical School’s purpose of punishment was to deter the offender and others. They also believed the punishment should be equally dispersed among those who commit the same crime.
On the other end of the spectrum, the Positivist believed that human behavior is determined by social, biological and psychological strengths that stifle our rationality and free will of choice. They see a criminal as something different than a noncriminal. Positivists believe that people commit crimes because they are inferior to others in some way. They see punishment as a way to defend the society. They also believe punishments should be applied to individuals differently based on differences that have occurred, and that punishment should be used for rehabilitation and treatment.





References
Williams, F., & McShane, M. (2014).Criminological theory (6th ed.). Boston: Pearson.





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