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Schools of criminology

Three schools of criminology have been dealt with and the contribution of their respective exponents.

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Schools of Criminology
WaseemRamzan
Some of the prominentschoolsof criminologyare asunder:
 Pre-ClassicalSchool,
 Classical School,
 Neo-classical School.
Nowletus talk abouteach of these schoolsone byone.
Pre-Classical School Of Criminology
Thisschool was initsyouthin 17th
-18th
Century.The mainproponentof thisschool isSaintThomas
Acquinas.Itisbasedon the principle of Demonology,witchcraftandsupernatural power.
The mainpostulatesof thisschool are as under:
 Crime iscommitteddue tothe instigationof devil orsome evil spirit.
 Omnipotence of the spiritimpelstocommitcrime.
 It laiddownprimaryfocusof crime causationto the religionandspirituality.The good
fortune orevil/goodsupernatural forcesleadahumanbeingtowardsthe ill use of the free
will.
 Crime isthe net resultof the demonicpossessionandthe consequencesthereof;evil abuse
of the free will.
 Christianideaof Original Sinwhichsaysthatall humanbeingswere consideredbornsinners.
So the questionssuchaswhat causescrime isof novalue.
 Naturalismandspiritualismformedthe backbone of itscrime causation.Itisalsoknownas
the deterministicapproachof crime causation.These ideologies altogetherexcludedthe
individualresponsibilityinthe commissionof the crime.Because notonlyhumanactionsare
governedbythe nature buteventhe humanpassion.
Solvingmethodologies/treatmentsof the Lunatic/Criminal asperthisschool were asunder:
 Doctrine of Beat outthe evil (Exorcism).
 Trial by Ordeal
 Worships
 Sacrifices
 Trephining;the processof makinghole inthe skull of lunatictoprovide aventforthe
release of the devil.
 Complete seizure of the propertyof lunaticafter confessionof the crime.
Critique toPre- Classical School Of Criminology:
 The biggestset-backtothisschool wasbecause of the Enlightenmentphilosophy.Inthe era
of enlightenmentquestionswere raised,scientificdiscoverieswere made inhuge numbers
and traditional religiousandpoliticalvalueswere challenged. Proof of demonicpossession
was alsosought.
 Developmentof the philosophiesof humanism, rationalismandthe belief inthe primacyof
the natural over the supernatural world.
 Betterunderstandingof the humannature andthe mother-nature wasdevelopedbasedon
the scientificknow-how.
Classical School Of Criminology
The main proponentsof thisschool are Cesare BeccariaandJeremyBentham.Inthe year1775 this
school came to the lime light. The mainprinciplesuponwhichthisschool isbasedon are Hedonism-
‘PainandPleasure Balance/theoryandFree Will theory.
Thisschool is basedonthe followingpostulates:
 Naturalistictheoryof criminality.
 Mental phenomenonof crime.
 Free will of the individual isthe cause of the crime.
 Preventionof the crime ismore importantpunishment.
 Thisschool abhorredtorturouspunishment.
 Basedup on the HedonisticPsychology.
As thisschool developedinthe late 17th
Centuryand the early18th
centuryithad itsroots inthe
Enlightenment.Thiscriminological perspectiveheldthatmenand womenare the rational beings
and that crime isthe resultof the exercise of free will andpersonalchoicesbasedonthe calculations
of perceivedcostsandbenefits.It isthe firstsystematicandmodernapproachof thinkinginthe area
of criminologyandcriminal behaviour.
Classical criminologydevelopedoutof the writingsof a numberof influentialthinkers.Especially
importantwere the ideasdevelopedbyCesare BeccariaandJeremyBentham.Itisimportanttonote
that Beccariais knownas the fatherof Classical school of criminology.
Nowletus talk aboutthe contributionsof eachof the aforesaidthinkersone byone.
Cesare Beccariain hisEssayson Crime andpunishments,1774 mentionedfollowingfewimportant
points:
 Aimof the punishmentshouldbe nottotormentandafflicta sentientpersonbutitisto
preventthe criminal fromdoingmore damage tohisco-citizensandtodeterothersfrom
doinglikewise.This iswhatBeccariacallsas the punishmentasdeterrence.
 He pleadedforthe abolitionof deathsentence/capital punishment.
 The punishmentshouldbe proportionatetothe crime sothat it wouldbe effective andwill
have an educingimpressiononhumanminds andbe leasttormentingtothe bodyof the
criminal.Thatisto say that punishmentshouldbe proportionate tointhe scale of crime –
anythingmore istyrannical.
 In orderto preventcrime,the punishmentsshouldbe more deterrentandnoteffective.
Deathpenaltyhadno deterrentforce/effect,asitfailedaltogethertodeterthe potential
offenders.
 Basedon the HedonisticDoctrine,the criminalsare punishedinthe prescribedwaysbythe
state.The basic ideawasthat the crime will be minimal if the fearof the state agentsisthe
maximal.
 Punishmentsshouldbe knowntopeopleinadvance sothata potential offendercould
performhedonisticcalculationsbestpossiblebyhisperson.
Certainprinciplesrecommendedbyhimare as under:
 The basisof all social actionmustbe utilitarianconceptof the greatesthappinessforthe
greatestnumber.
 Crime mustbe consideredasinjurytosociety.
 Preventionof crime ismore importantthanpunishment.
 The purpose of punishmentistodeterpersonsfromcommitting crime.
 Imprisonmentshouldbe more widelyemployed.
Jeremy Benthamtalksaboutthe painversespleasurebalance.He haswritteninhis“Introductionto
the principlesof moralsandlegislation,(1789)”that nature has placedmankindunderthe
governance of twosovereignmasters;painandpleasure. Topreventthe happeningsof mischiefor
reduce crime,the painassociatedwithcrime commissionmustoutweighthe pleasure tobe derived
fromcriminal activity.Benthamadvocatedneitherextreme norcruel punishment- onlypunishment
sufficientlydistastefultothe offendersothatthe discomfortexperiencedwouldoutweighthe
benefitsgainedfromcommittingcrimes.Painandpleasureare the instrumentsthe legislatorhasto
workwithin controllingantisocial and criminal behaviour.
Bentham’sapproachhasbeentermedasHedonisticCalculusorUtilitarianism.He explainshis
approach intermsof principle of utility.Thisprinciple readsthatindividualscouldweigh,atleast
intuitively,the consequencesof their behaviourbefore acting,thusmaximizingthe pleasure and
minimizingpain. The value of anypleasure couldbe calculatedbyits:
 Intensity
 Duration
 Certainty
 Immediacy( or remotenessintime)
Utilitarianismisapractical philosophy.Benthamwasquite practical inhissuggestionsaboutcrime
prevention.He saidthatall citizensshouldhave theirfirstandlastnamestattooedontheirwristsfor
the purpose of facilitatingpolice identification.He alsorecommendedthe creationof acentralized
police focussedoncrime preventionandcontrol.Thisrecommendationfoundlife inthe English
MetropolitanPolice Actof 1829.
Bentham’sothermajorcontributiontocriminologywashissuggestionthatprisonsbe designed
alongthe linesof whathe calleda “PanopticonHouse”.Panopticon- aprisondesignedbyhimwasto
be a circularbuildingwithcellsalongthe circumference,eachclearlyvisible fromacentral location
staffedbyguards.Subsequently,panopticonwasneverbuiltinBentham’sEngland.French made it
at Lyons.Three prisonsmodelledafterthe panopticonconceptwerelaterconstructedinthe United
Statesof America.
Critique of Classical School of Criminology:
 It doesnotfullyexplaincriminal motivation.
 Otherthan claimsthatcrime is the resultof freewill,the personal attractionsof crime,and
individualchoice,the perspective,haslittle tosayaboutcrime causation.
 Largelymissingthe meaningful explanationsastohow a choice foror againstcriminal
activityismade.
 Lacks appreciationforthe deepersourcesof personal motivation.
 Made claimswithoutanyscientificbasisbehindthem.
 Theylack the groundsinpracticabilityandreality.Noadherence tophilosophical debates.
Uncertaintyisat the top.

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Schools of criminology

  • 1. Schools of Criminology WaseemRamzan Some of the prominentschoolsof criminologyare asunder:  Pre-ClassicalSchool,  Classical School,  Neo-classical School. Nowletus talk abouteach of these schoolsone byone. Pre-Classical School Of Criminology Thisschool was initsyouthin 17th -18th Century.The mainproponentof thisschool isSaintThomas Acquinas.Itisbasedon the principle of Demonology,witchcraftandsupernatural power. The mainpostulatesof thisschool are as under:  Crime iscommitteddue tothe instigationof devil orsome evil spirit.  Omnipotence of the spiritimpelstocommitcrime.  It laiddownprimaryfocusof crime causationto the religionandspirituality.The good fortune orevil/goodsupernatural forcesleadahumanbeingtowardsthe ill use of the free will.  Crime isthe net resultof the demonicpossessionandthe consequencesthereof;evil abuse of the free will.  Christianideaof Original Sinwhichsaysthatall humanbeingswere consideredbornsinners. So the questionssuchaswhat causescrime isof novalue.  Naturalismandspiritualismformedthe backbone of itscrime causation.Itisalsoknownas the deterministicapproachof crime causation.These ideologies altogetherexcludedthe individualresponsibilityinthe commissionof the crime.Because notonlyhumanactionsare governedbythe nature buteventhe humanpassion. Solvingmethodologies/treatmentsof the Lunatic/Criminal asperthisschool were asunder:  Doctrine of Beat outthe evil (Exorcism).  Trial by Ordeal  Worships  Sacrifices  Trephining;the processof makinghole inthe skull of lunatictoprovide aventforthe release of the devil.  Complete seizure of the propertyof lunaticafter confessionof the crime. Critique toPre- Classical School Of Criminology:  The biggestset-backtothisschool wasbecause of the Enlightenmentphilosophy.Inthe era of enlightenmentquestionswere raised,scientificdiscoverieswere made inhuge numbers and traditional religiousandpoliticalvalueswere challenged. Proof of demonicpossession was alsosought.  Developmentof the philosophiesof humanism, rationalismandthe belief inthe primacyof the natural over the supernatural world.
  • 2.  Betterunderstandingof the humannature andthe mother-nature wasdevelopedbasedon the scientificknow-how. Classical School Of Criminology The main proponentsof thisschool are Cesare BeccariaandJeremyBentham.Inthe year1775 this school came to the lime light. The mainprinciplesuponwhichthisschool isbasedon are Hedonism- ‘PainandPleasure Balance/theoryandFree Will theory. Thisschool is basedonthe followingpostulates:  Naturalistictheoryof criminality.  Mental phenomenonof crime.  Free will of the individual isthe cause of the crime.  Preventionof the crime ismore importantpunishment.  Thisschool abhorredtorturouspunishment.  Basedup on the HedonisticPsychology. As thisschool developedinthe late 17th Centuryand the early18th centuryithad itsroots inthe Enlightenment.Thiscriminological perspectiveheldthatmenand womenare the rational beings and that crime isthe resultof the exercise of free will andpersonalchoicesbasedonthe calculations of perceivedcostsandbenefits.It isthe firstsystematicandmodernapproachof thinkinginthe area of criminologyandcriminal behaviour. Classical criminologydevelopedoutof the writingsof a numberof influentialthinkers.Especially importantwere the ideasdevelopedbyCesare BeccariaandJeremyBentham.Itisimportanttonote that Beccariais knownas the fatherof Classical school of criminology. Nowletus talk aboutthe contributionsof eachof the aforesaidthinkersone byone. Cesare Beccariain hisEssayson Crime andpunishments,1774 mentionedfollowingfewimportant points:  Aimof the punishmentshouldbe nottotormentandafflicta sentientpersonbutitisto preventthe criminal fromdoingmore damage tohisco-citizensandtodeterothersfrom doinglikewise.This iswhatBeccariacallsas the punishmentasdeterrence.  He pleadedforthe abolitionof deathsentence/capital punishment.  The punishmentshouldbe proportionatetothe crime sothat it wouldbe effective andwill have an educingimpressiononhumanminds andbe leasttormentingtothe bodyof the criminal.Thatisto say that punishmentshouldbe proportionate tointhe scale of crime – anythingmore istyrannical.  In orderto preventcrime,the punishmentsshouldbe more deterrentandnoteffective. Deathpenaltyhadno deterrentforce/effect,asitfailedaltogethertodeterthe potential offenders.  Basedon the HedonisticDoctrine,the criminalsare punishedinthe prescribedwaysbythe state.The basic ideawasthat the crime will be minimal if the fearof the state agentsisthe maximal.  Punishmentsshouldbe knowntopeopleinadvance sothata potential offendercould performhedonisticcalculationsbestpossiblebyhisperson. Certainprinciplesrecommendedbyhimare as under:
  • 3.  The basisof all social actionmustbe utilitarianconceptof the greatesthappinessforthe greatestnumber.  Crime mustbe consideredasinjurytosociety.  Preventionof crime ismore importantthanpunishment.  The purpose of punishmentistodeterpersonsfromcommitting crime.  Imprisonmentshouldbe more widelyemployed. Jeremy Benthamtalksaboutthe painversespleasurebalance.He haswritteninhis“Introductionto the principlesof moralsandlegislation,(1789)”that nature has placedmankindunderthe governance of twosovereignmasters;painandpleasure. Topreventthe happeningsof mischiefor reduce crime,the painassociatedwithcrime commissionmustoutweighthe pleasure tobe derived fromcriminal activity.Benthamadvocatedneitherextreme norcruel punishment- onlypunishment sufficientlydistastefultothe offendersothatthe discomfortexperiencedwouldoutweighthe benefitsgainedfromcommittingcrimes.Painandpleasureare the instrumentsthe legislatorhasto workwithin controllingantisocial and criminal behaviour. Bentham’sapproachhasbeentermedasHedonisticCalculusorUtilitarianism.He explainshis approach intermsof principle of utility.Thisprinciple readsthatindividualscouldweigh,atleast intuitively,the consequencesof their behaviourbefore acting,thusmaximizingthe pleasure and minimizingpain. The value of anypleasure couldbe calculatedbyits:  Intensity  Duration  Certainty  Immediacy( or remotenessintime) Utilitarianismisapractical philosophy.Benthamwasquite practical inhissuggestionsaboutcrime prevention.He saidthatall citizensshouldhave theirfirstandlastnamestattooedontheirwristsfor the purpose of facilitatingpolice identification.He alsorecommendedthe creationof acentralized police focussedoncrime preventionandcontrol.Thisrecommendationfoundlife inthe English MetropolitanPolice Actof 1829. Bentham’sothermajorcontributiontocriminologywashissuggestionthatprisonsbe designed alongthe linesof whathe calleda “PanopticonHouse”.Panopticon- aprisondesignedbyhimwasto be a circularbuildingwithcellsalongthe circumference,eachclearlyvisible fromacentral location staffedbyguards.Subsequently,panopticonwasneverbuiltinBentham’sEngland.French made it at Lyons.Three prisonsmodelledafterthe panopticonconceptwerelaterconstructedinthe United Statesof America. Critique of Classical School of Criminology:  It doesnotfullyexplaincriminal motivation.  Otherthan claimsthatcrime is the resultof freewill,the personal attractionsof crime,and individualchoice,the perspective,haslittle tosayaboutcrime causation.  Largelymissingthe meaningful explanationsastohow a choice foror againstcriminal activityismade.  Lacks appreciationforthe deepersourcesof personal motivation.  Made claimswithoutanyscientificbasisbehindthem.  Theylack the groundsinpracticabilityandreality.Noadherence tophilosophical debates. Uncertaintyisat the top.