Classical Vs. Classical Theory Essay

1729 Words Jan 22nd, 2016 7 Pages
Classical choice theory is based on the fundamental tenets of classical criminology, which hold that people freely choose their behavior and are motivated by the avoidance of pain and the pursuit of pleasure. Individuals evaluate their choice of actions in accordance with each option 's ability to produce advantage, pleasure and happiness. Classical choice provides a micro perspective on why individual offenders decide to commit specific crimes; people choose to engage in crime because it can be rewarding, easy, satisfying and fun. The central premise of this theory is that people are rational beings whose behavior can be controlled or modified by a fear of punishment. In this way, it is believed offenders can be persuaded to desist from offending by intensifying their fear of punishment. In terms of setting the forms of punishment, according to this theory, sanctions should be limited to what is necessary to deter people from choosing crime (Siegel and McCormick, 2006).
Early classical theorists knew that crime required rational management; they intended to calibrate the law and justice system for the task and generally agreed that the state should do no more than required to protect citizens and their property. The law should be pragmatic and effective. Precise visions of rights, the law, and justice varied widely, but there was near-universal agreement among classical and enlightened thinkers of the 18th century that the deterrent value of the law should expend the least…

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