March 5 2013 th
Classical and Neo-Classical Criminology
Criminology of perpetration
I. Classical Criminology
- Beccaria and Bentham
- Others believe it started with positivist
- Enlightenment: Emphasis is placed on freedom, rights and equality. Law can no longer
be seen as given by god, but as a result of social contract, result of reason, move away
from a sort of sovereign power. During that time, death penalty was less important.
Beccaria: this ways of dealing with crime is unproductive. Cultural Elite that sees
violence as a form of uncivilized behaviour.
- Ultilitarianism: how we can use punishment to maximize the happiness of the greatest
number with the minimum infliction of pain. Beccaria and Bentham see punishment as a
form of unhappiness and harm, how can you use it the least possible in order to
generate utility (happiness). Problem: Nozick; human behaviour of seeking pleasure to
avoid pain. Huxley: is it important to be unhappy and able to experience sadness;
“Happiness is dangerous”
- Rational-Legal Authority:
- Wanted to rely on punishment but not too much of it. Anything that doesn’t cause harm
to others should not be called a crime because it does not threaten the society.
- Crime is a rational strategy: how can I outsmart my opponents?
- Beccaria thought that the behaviour was governed by the punishment.
- If the two different behaviours carry the same sentence, then nothing will be in the way
of the individual to commit the worst crime.
- Crime is geared towards the satisfaction of needs: pleasure…etc and the avoidance of
- Notes on mens rea: humans should not take themselves to gods
- Punishment should be guided by reason, not by passion - Utility = deterrence
- If the aim of the sovereign is for citizens to have more control of their behaviours, then
they should show the ways in which they punish.
- Cruelty can also be counterproductive for Beccaria, because some people will
sympathize with the individual being punished, instead of seeing the victory of law, we
create anger towards political power.
- Punishments should no longer be violent or public, it should be quick = celerity and
should be certain.
- Celerity: educational project to enlighten the stupid ones, the vulgar ones – people will
want to commit crimes, but think of the consequence
- Level of Certainty: best way to get too people, best way to punish mildly but certainty.
- To end arbitrary punishment, you need moderation: punishing the individual to just the
right amount to produce a deterrent effect. Least amount of pain to produce happiness.
- Thought of punishment as a form of evil in itself.
- Only way you can justify using punishment is by creating some form of profit
- Opposed moralist and paternalist
- Finding ways to produce utility through punishment while making sure political power is
- Panopticon, the design of the perfect machine of surveillance. Center of the
Panopticon, you have the prison guard and you can never know whether or not the
prison guard is in there or not, which means you can be surveillanced or not. By building
prisons like this, you will have inmates who will think they are constantly being watched
and will behave themselves.
- Positivist will favor rehabilitation over deterrence.
II. Right Realism
- One form of criminology that will be influential in the comeback of classical criminology.
- If there’s a lot of crime it’s because we have been too gentle with the society.
- Racist Criminology; said to be scientific, some people suggest that black are less
intelligent then white which is why most criminals are black than white. Murray:
advocate for a custodial democracy, suggesting that democracy will never be possible
so long that there are so many criminal people in liberty, so we must remove them
- Want to put emphasis on the reality of crime
- Broken Windows Theory: invitation to commit a crime – Wilson and Kelling. Spiral of
disorder that will start with not repairing your window.
- Zero Tolerance Polices: individuals responsibility, increase punishment
- Rational Choice: stop thinking that it is not the individuals fault. III. Neo Classi