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Classical V Positivist

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There are two schools of thoughts when dealing with criminology, they are;

classical and positivist criminology. The two meaning entirely the opposite, classical criminology is based on committing crimes by “free will” while positivist criminology deals with committing crime due to the impact of one’s’ environment.

Cesare Beccaria helped make the present day Judicial System what it is; his thought process was in the beliefs of the classical theory. The Classical criminology theory is established on the thought process that committing a crime is a “choice” that individuals make on their own. It is only human nature to know the difference of right from wrong; the classical view depicts that one “knowingly” decides to do wrong not caring the consequences. This is where Cesare Beccaria comes into play, he decided that “do the crime, pay the time”, he felt that one’s punishment should be as just and fair pertaining to the crime itself; this is why all punishments have certain mandatory sentences imposed on them. Beccaria however, did not believe in capital punishment, he felt has though that it is not man’s job to inflict death upon another.

Casare Lombroso is commended on creating this type of criminology notated as positivist; he unlike Beccaria did believe in capital punishment, and disagreed with Beccaria's perceptions on punishments being fit for the type of crime committed, and stated that instead, the punishments should be fit for the individual criminal. “The positivists were concerned with scientifically isolating and identifying the determining causes of criminal behavior in individual offenders” (, basing their observations solely on their logical studies alone. This theory believed that convicts can be rehabilitated and placed back into society. The author Gregg Barak...

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