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Lecture 3

Week 3 - Criminological Theory.docx

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University of Guelph
SOC 1500
Mavis Morton

Thursday September 29, 2011 SOC*1400 Week 4 -Classical SLIDE 14 Cesare Beccaria (1738-1994) - Social contract - Rule of law - Punishment should deter crime and therefore be swift, certain and proportional to the crime Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) - Hedonistic calculus or utilitarianism o Individuals could weigh the consequences of their behaviour before acting to maximize pleasure and minimize pain o He thought of people as human calculators  You would put into the calculation the factors before and after the crime that properly deterred the punishment of the crime. o Punishment is only justifiable if it creates greater evil that the crime produces o Panopticon  Circular prisons guarded by security.  Built near cities so people would see them and know they would end up there if they made the wrong choice  Social control, moral regulation; the notion of governmentality is that there are people watching (individual vigilantes), not just from above (the state or law) that those around us help to regulate our behaviour. Modern society will help to ensure regulation and discipline Pods and control station - Came from Maplehurst o Similar to the notion that there is a central place where the guards sit and cells surround o Cost saver; not as many guards as the inmates would help regulate their behaviour as someone was always watching them. Heritage of Classical School - Rationality – humans have free will, and actions are a result of choice o You made that choice and it is a calculated act - Hedonism – pleasure and pain, or reward and punishment are chosen - Punishment – criminal punishment is a deterrent to unlawful behaviour - Human rights – society owes to its citizens respect for their human rights in the face of government action o You have rights until they harm the environment of someone else - Due process – presumed innocent until proven otherwise Critique of Classical Theory - General principles did not always serve justice o Do you think people calculate rationally before they commit crimes? o Are deterrents the best way to keep people from committing crimes? o Not everyone is thinking rationally before committing a crime.  Response to a fast situation (hitting a person with your car)  Crimes of passion  in the moment, not thinking rationally  Children are legally not thinking rationally until the age of 12  Mentally ill – this does not make sense for them. We cannot make the assumption that they are aware - Equality BEFORE the law masks a world of deep social inequalities o When doesn‟t that work?  To treat a youth the same as an adult with a punishment may not be fair. The resources of the youth or adult. If you fine two people $1000 for a crime, one may be living in poverty and the other may be earing six figures  does not have the right impact on society.  It actually masks inequalities within our society. Does not take factors into account; race, wealth, resources, religion, age. - Punishment has differential impacts - No gender analysis Contemporary examples of Classical Perspective (FINAL) - Statute of Limitations  trials happen within a certain amount of time - Mandatory minimums  deterrent sentencing. - Due Process  you cannot just through people away. Innocent until proving guilty from classical theory - Rule of Law  the notion that no one is above or beyond the law. EQUALITY. On a par - Charter of Rights and Freedoms New Right Criminology a political ideology as apposed to a theory* - 1980‟s o By the 1970‟s there was a change; shifting to the political and economic right. o Intolerance among the public about the economic downfall  people were not happy  the belief that people were get
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