Classical criminology refers to works by philosophers that adopted a utilitarian view towards crime and punishment. Philosophers Cesare Beccaria and Jeremy Bentham are considered front runners of classical criminology as they championed themes of individual rationality and the importance of punishment. Their assumption for the origin of crime was that ‘man is a calculating animal,’ relying on the classical school of thought that human beings have free will in making decisions. Thus, since man is rational, punishment supported by the system of criminal justice can be a huge deterrent for crime. The major emphasis was that punishment is necessary if it fits the crime committed and is meted out punctually.
The main foundations of the classical school of criminology include:
Classical criminology was a product of reforms in legal enforcement and punishment as adopted by the emerging middle-classes that needed to protect their trade interests. Other formative influences of classical philosophy include philosopher John Locke who argued that since all citizens are equal, there should exist a form of a social contract. Crime, therefore, was a transgression that undermined the social contract, demanding the existence of punishment as a deterrent. The shift from authoritarianism to democracy represented a reformation of roles where police powers morphed with existing systems of punishment to create a just end. Nevertheless, classicism lost dominance as its views imagined a utopian society where a policing system could help deliver perfection in investigations and crime detection.
At Unemployed Tutors, our experts believe that while other schools of thought gradually replaced classicism, it pointed policymakers in the right direction for shaping institutions to deter citizens from offending. We are prepared to develop well-thought-out argumentative essays on classical criminology as a means for achieving a just society. Trust the experts at Unemployed Tutors to help you submit perfect papers now!
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