Classical, Neo-Classical, & Positivist Schools of Criminology: To understand criminology, a person must first know what crime is. A violation of criminal law, for example breaking the code of conduct set forth by a state, is how Thorsten Sellin defines crime. (Jeffery C. R., 1956) Thorsten also goes on to say that deviant behavior that is injurious to society, but is not governed by the law is inaccurately described as crime [1]. (Jeffery C. R., 1956) Crime is also defined as an illegal act that is considered punishable by the government. (Merriam-Webster, 2014)

Essay questions for criminology
Classical, Neo-Classical, & Positivist Schools of Criminology

Classical, Neo-Classical, & Positivist Schools of Criminology

Question 1. Discuss in detail the two primary historical schools of thought presented in the text and this week’s lesson pertaining to criminology i.e., the classical and positivist schools of criminology. Further briefly give an overview of the timeline of criminological theory beginning about 1920.

question 2? Briefly compare and contrast life-course theory with evolutionary neuroandrogenic (ENA) theory, as discussed in the week 2 lecture. In doings so, discuss the nature versus nurture notions, as possible causes of criminal behavior.

Question 3. Provide an overview of the text book’s comments and the week 3 lesson content pertaining to social control theorists focus on the reasons why an individual would choose a delinquent subculture and join a gang. In doing so, elaborate on both social control theory, and subcultural theory.

question 4. Provide an overview of the text book’s comments and the week 4 lesson content pertaining to the similarities and differences between outward environmental sociological factors and inward hereditary psychological factors, as the possible cause of criminal based behavior. In doing so, elaborate on explanations of crime and criminal behavior, as presented in the theories discussed in the week 4 lesson.

Each answer must be min 500 words with in text citation and 2 references apa format. Talk to our experts to get this and more criminal and law questions analysis.…

Helpful Reading: Classical, Neo-Classical, & Positivist Schools of Criminology

Criminology is the scientific study of crime as a social phenomenon, behavior of criminals, and the penal treatment of the criminal. (Merriam-Webster, 2013) Criminology studies the non-legal aspects of crime. The non-legal aspects of crime include the causes and preventions of crime.

Criminology includes the study of crimes, criminals, crime victims, and criminological theories explaining illegal and deviant behavior (Brotherton, 2013). The social reaction to crime, the effectiveness of anti-crime policies, and the broader political terrain of social control are also aspects to criminology (Brotherton, 2013).

Initiated in the 18th century by social crusaders, criminology was brought to light. Social reformers began to query the use of punishment for justice rather than deterrence and reform. In 1924, Edwin Sutherland defined criminology as “the body of knowledge regarding crime as a social phenomenon that includes within its scope the process of making laws, of breaking laws, and of reacting toward the breaking of laws.” (The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, 2013)

In the 19th century, scientific methods began to be applied to the study of crime. Today, criminologists use a plethora of techniques and data to help render results about criminals, criminal activity, and the punishments being received. Criminologists frequently use statistics, case histories, official archives and records, and sociological field methods to study criminals and criminal activity, including the rates and kinds of crime within geographic areas.

Criminologists then pass on their results to other members of the criminal justice system, such as lawyers, judges, probation officers, law enforcement officials, prison officials, legislatures, and scholars. This information is passed on to these members of the criminal justice system so as a group they can better understand criminals and the effects of treatment and prevention.

Criminological theories are an important part of criminology. “Theory” is a term used to describe an idea or set of ideas that is intended to explain facts or events. Therefore, a theory is suggested or presented as possibly true, but that is not known or proven to be true, as well as, the general principles or ideas that relate to a particular subject. Criminological theories examine why people commit crimes and is very important in the ongoing debate of how crime should be handled and prevented (Briggs, 2013).

Many theories have been developed and researched throughout the years. These theories continue to be explored, separately and in amalgamation, because criminologists pursue the paramount elucidations in eventually reducing types and intensities of crime (Briggs, 2013).

Classical School of Criminology

The classical school of criminology arose in the late 1700s and early 1800s (Schmalleger, 2014), The legal systems around the 1700s did not work very well. The legal systems were subjective, corrupt, and harsh up to the time of the development of the classical school of criminology (Cullen & Agnew, 2003).

These unacceptable conditions led to a revolt against the arbitrary, harsh, corrupt system, thus allowing for new ideas and insight to be put forth (Jeffery C. R., 1956). Enlightenment is a place where the classical school set it roots and alleged that humans are rational beings and that crime is the result of free will in a risk versus reward position (Schmalleger, 2014).

There were many people who helped shape the classical school. Two of the most important of these people are Cesare Beccaria and Jeremy Bentham. With the principles of Cesare Beccaria and the philosophies of Jeremy Bentham, the classical school was erected and put into effect.

The classical school of criminology was founded by Cesare Beccaria, an Italian theorist. Beccaria was born an Aristocrat in Milan, Italy on March 15th, 1738. Being an aristocrat is simply being born wealthy or of high social class and, usually, having a title. Cesare received a degree in 1758. Against his parent’s wishes three years later, in 1761, he married Teresa di Blasco.

At this time in life, he and two of his friends, Pietro and Alessandro Verri, formed the society called “Academy of Fists.” The mission of this group was to wage a relentless war against things such as economic disorder, petty bureaucratic tyranny, religious narrow-mindedness, and intellectual pedantry. Encouragement from the members of “Academy of Fists” led Beccaria started to read open-minded authors of England and France and with that Beccaria began writing essays that the members of the “Academy of Fists” had assigned to him. On Remedies for the Monetary Disorders of Milan in the Year of 1762 was Beccaria’s first publication.

Of the essays written by Beccaria with the help of his friends, On Crimes and Punishments is Beccaria’s most noted essay. On Crimes and Punishments was originally titled Dei deliti e delle pene (Vold, Bernard, & Snipes, 2002). As Beccaria wrote, the members of “Academy of Fists” recommended the topic, gave him the information, elaborated on the subject matter, and arranged his written words together into a readable work (Florida State University, 2013).

There are ten principles that are used to summarize Beccaria’s arguments and ideas that he thought would make the criminal justice system work in a more efficient, effective, and all-around nondiscriminatory way. These principles are outlined in Theoretical Criminology, written by George Vold, Thomas Bernard, and Jeffery Snipes.

He felt that legislatures should define the crimes and set forth the punishments for the specific crimes, instead of allowing the laws to be vague and left to the discretion of the judicial system (Vold, Bernard, & Snipes, 2002). Because judges had an immense amount of discretion when ruling over proceedings, Beccaria suggested that judge’s only task should be to determine guilt or innocence and then follow the predetermined sentence set forth by the legislature.

Beccaria also implied that all factors except the impact on society were immaterial in determining the seriousness of a crime. Therefore, impact on society should be used to determine the significance of the crime.

The next principle brought forth by Beccaria was that of proportionality. He felt that that the punishment of the crime should be proportional to its seriousness. In other words, the “time should fit the crime.” Beccaria thought that the purpose of punishment should not be retribution.

Instead, he believed punishment should be based on deterrence (Schmalleger, 2014). He felt that if people saw punishments being carried out, it would allow onlookers to be deterred from criminal activity. When the harshness of the punishment exceeds the necessity to achieve deterrence, Beccaria believed that it was unreasonable (Vold, Bernard, & Snipes, 2002). Beccaria thought torture was inappropriate and allowed for the weak to incriminate themselves and the strong would be found innocent before they were adjudicated. (Schmalleger, 2014) This unjust punishment inflicted on offenders allowed crime to be increased instead of deterred. (Vold, Bernard, & Snipes, 2002) Beccaria also called for adjudication and punishments to occur quickly. (Vold, Bernard, & Snipes, 2002) He felt that if a crime was committed and the offender was adjudicated in a prompt manner that the concept of crime and punishment would be associated with each other. (Vold, Bernard, & Snipes, 2002) Beccaria thought if a punishment was certain then society would have a better impression of the criminal justice system. (Vold, Bernard, & Snipes, 2002) This allowed potential offenders to know the punishment before making a rational decision to commit crime.

Beccaria pushed for laws to be published so that the public would be aware of the laws, know the purpose of the laws, and know the punishments set forth by the laws. (Vold, Bernard, & Snipes, 2002) He also accentuated torture and secret accusations be abolished or eliminated because they were cruel and unusual punishments. (Vold, Bernard, & Snipes, 2002) Beccaria called for imprisonment instead of capital punishment or the death penalty. (Vold, Bernard, & Snipes, 2002) He also emphasized jails becoming more human and the distinction between the elite and the underprivileged be eradicated from the law. (Vold, Bernard, & Snipes, 2002) This was based on the idea of sovereignty lying in the hands of the people and all members of society being seen and treated equally in the application of the law. (Jeffery, 1959)

Jeremy Bentham. Jeremy Bentham was born in 1748. (Swanson, 2000) Bentham’s mother died when he was eleven and he never had good relationships with any other women. (Geis, 1955) The women in his family were devout and superstitious. Thus, based on Classical, Neo-Classical, & Positivist Schools of Criminology, he was raised in an atmosphere of ghost stories and was plagued by “diabolical visions.” (Swanson, 2000) He never married, but he did propose to one woman when he was fifty-seven years old, but the lady rejected the proposal. (Geis, 1955)

Bentham started putting together an all-inclusive code of ethics. (Geis, 1955) The issue he came across was he thought the task was too non-utilitarian, so he placed prominence on the real problem of eradicating or at least diminishing crime. (Geis, 1955) Bentham created the concept of the hedonistic calculus, because he believed in the person’s capability to judge the impact of punishment on themselves and their ability to make a choice regarding the pursuance of pleasure and the evasion of pain. (Seiter, 2011) The hedonistic calculus defined as the idea that the main objective of an intelligent person is to achieve the most pleasure and the least pain and that the individuals are constantly calculating the pluses and minuses of their potential actions. (Seiter, 2011)

Since Bentham believed in the hedonistic calculus and a person’s ability to make a rational decision regarding a pleasure versus pain calculation, he conjectured that the punishment for crimes should prevail over the pleasure the person would get from committing the criminal activity. (Seiter, 2011) The free-will idea of the Classical School, therefore, added to Bentham’s idea that the penalties of the criminal actions would be considered before the actions were taken. (Seiter, 2011) That meant that the person would ultimately be deterred from the actions that criminal activity the person would have made had they not be a free-will, rational person. (Seiter, 2011)

What the Classical School did for Criminology. The Classical School of Criminology is known as the first organized theory of crime that links causation to appropriate punishments. (Seiter, 2011) The classical school followed Beccaria’s ideology which focused on crime, not the criminal. The Classical School of Criminology focused on the principle of deterrence instead of punishment. (Seiter, 2011) The Classical School of Criminology came up with important theories for the behavior of criminals that is still commonly used today.