Chapter 3 Lecture Notes

Chapter 3 Lecture Notes - Chapter 3 Lecture Notes In this...

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Chapter 3 Lecture Notes In this chapter we will begin to delve into the nature of crime and criminals. Here we will attempt to determine the explanation for crimes based on an introduction to criminological theory. There are two main schools of criminological theory, the classical and positivist schools of thought. The classical school views crime in the simplest of terms, right and wrong, with free will thrown into the mix as the causal factor. However, the positivist school takes a much different approach, and this is referred to as determinism. In this school the perpetrator isn’t always totally at fault, even if there is no dispute that he or she committed the act. Rather, the factors associated with the action (abusive childhood, educational issues, etc.) can be deemed to “determine” the behavior. The classical theory purports a belief in the “free will” of the offender. In his writing, “An Essay on Crimes and Punishment”, Cesare Beccaria argued that laws and punishment should be geared towards deterring others from committing crimes. Beccaria argued that the benefit to the offender should be marginally decreased by the costs imposed by society. In other words, make the punishment swift, severe, and certain. In this way, the offender will lose his desire to break the law. There are two types of deterrence. There is general deterrence which is designed to deter the general population by setting examples of lawbreakers. Then there is specific deterrence which is aimed at the known offender. For example, a person who is serving a five year probationary sentence should be deterred from re-offending based on the presumption that re-offending will result in certain incarceration. The positivist school is broken down into different areas, the biological, the psychological, and the sociological theories. In addition to the different areas of thought, the positivist school also employs such critical theories to explaining crime like
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This note was uploaded on 06/04/2010 for the course CCJ 1020 taught by Professor Ardis,m during the Spring '10 term at Pensacola Junior College.

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Chapter 3 Lecture Notes - Chapter 3 Lecture Notes In this...

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