The Aspects of Criminal Justice

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The Aspects of Criminal Justice

There are many different aspects of criminal justice policy. One in particular is the different theories of crime and how they affect the criminal justice system. The Classical School of criminology is a theory about evolving from a capital punishment type of view to more humane ways of punishing people. Positivist criminology is maintaining the control of human behavior and criminal behavior. They did this through three different categories of Biological studies, which are five methodologies of crime that were mainly focused on biological theories, Psychological theories, which contains four separate theories, and the Sociological theories, which also includes four different methods of explaining why crime exists. The last theory is about Critical criminology. Their goal was to transform society in a way that would liberate and empower subordinate groups of individuals.

The Classical School of criminology was founded by "European legal authorities that thought crime was caused by supernatural forces" (DeKeseredy & Schwartz, 1996, p.155) preceding the 1700's. The catch phrase "The devil made him do it" was very popular because of the thought that people who committed crimes were sinners or people who didn't follow God. Those who didn't follow God were known as heretics and this following led to the connection of church and state where torture or execution could happen to anyone that the government thought to be evil or a part of witchcraft. Since the Middle Ages didn't have equal rights for all, women and the poor were usually the ones being prosecuted. With all of the problems of the times, the government found and made scapegoats out of these people, and blamed them of the troubles that were occurring. As DeKeseredy and Schwartz (1996, p.156) stated, "the most common way of determining guilt was through torture. It was a simple system: if you confessed, you were executed: is you did not confess, the torture continued until you died." This system of killing people was a well-respected way of running the criminal justice system. As time passed, the punishments turned away from inflicting pain on the body and turned more towards inflicting pain on the soul. This meant that imprisonment of long periods of time was going to take place of executions.

A very important theorist in the Classical School of thought is Cesare Beccarria. He was a modest man who wrote an essay called On Crimes and Punishment.
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