Lecture 2 20140215
The Classical Scholars
1. Modern criminology is the product of two main schools of thought: the classical school
originating in the 18 century (late
The Impact of the Classical School
1. Most modern criminal justice systems in the world assume the classical position that persons
are free agents who deserve to be punished when they transgress the law.
Recap of Classical Criminology
1) People have FREE WILL to choose criminal or lawful avenues.
2) Crime is attractive when it promises great benefits with little effort
3) Crime may be controlled by the fear punishment
• Deterrence emerges from the classical school of criminology
We have to understand proportionality: punishment should fit the crime.
• In order for deterrence to operate you need to know what the punishment is going to be.
4) Punishment that is or is perceived to be severe, certain, and swift will deter criminal behaviour.
• Rational choice theory comes from the school of criminology.
Limitations to Classical Theory
1. Presumption of free will
2. Focused only on the act without paying attention MORE SLIDES
Positive theory follows Classical theory. Limitations about classical theories is that they are
Main difference between classical and positivist schools of criminology
Classical school assumes everyone is a rational actor and acts upon free will
Positivist school: assumes crime is determined individuals are determined to be criminals based upon
factors outside of their control.
Positivist criminologists were more concerned with discovering the biological, psychological, or social
determinants of criminal behaviour than with the classical concerns of legal and penal reforms.
Positivists were pushed by scientific methods first school to apply scientific methods and collected data
to collect individuals. Classical were writers and poets while positivists were scientists and
1. Darwinism influenced positive theory. Many branches: biological branch, psychological branch,
and physiological branches.
1. IQ, Height and so forth 2. And sociological theory: how does where you live and how does family effect behaviour.
3. Evolution theory has influenced positivist in the beginning and humanity is progressing
towards a higher state.
4. Whether it was higher on the scale and the white race evolve after black people and that is
white people were higher on the scale, and more evolved than women as well.
5. Western societies represented pinnacle than the other societies, less evolvement of the
6. Much of the positivist view was racist with taking into consideration of dominant and
Lombroso: someone is born a criminal, criminal habits are inherited and born criminals can be identified
through physical defects. This thinking shifts the thinking of crime to the criminal, from act to individual.