Classical and Positive School of Criminology

1007 words 5 pages
The Classical School of Criminology and the Positive School of Criminology are two of the main theories that try and explain the behavior of delinquents. The Classical School of Criminology was developed in the late 1700s by Cesare Beccaria. Classical theorists were trying to decrease punishment and obtain equal justice for all.

"According to Beccaria and Jeremy Bantham, and English philospther, human nature is characterized by three central features: 1) People are not bound by original sin but have freedom of choice; 2) people are rational and are capable of using reason to govern their lives; and 3) people are motivated to pursue their own self-interests at the expense of others." (Empey pg. 113) They believed that people are
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The classical school states that people are motivated and will pursue their own interests at the expense of others. This shows that people are relatively selfish and will do anything for the benefit of themselves. Juveniles are especially very selfish. The positive school believes that crime and delinquency are biological-physical degeneracy, inherited genetic weaknesses, or defective intelligence. In the 20th century theorists believe that "delinquent behavior is caused by such factors as poverty, ignorance, discrimination, social disorganization, and delinquent subcultures." (Empey Pg. 115)

In classical theories there really is no hope for lowering the delinquency rates. Once again the classical school believes that:

· All people are guided by free will.

· All behavior is guided by hedonism.

· All crime is the result of free will and hedonism.

· All punishment should fit the offense.

· Bad people are nothing more than the result of bad laws.

If bad laws are the reason for people breaking laws than people will continue to break laws.

Lowering delinquency rates is definitely obtainable but many things need to happen. Some things that should be done is first off keeping kids in school. If kids are busy with school then they will not have near enough time to get in to trouble. After school activities are also a good way to keep kids from


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