Compare and Contrast the Classical and Positivist School of Criminology

861 Words Nov 12th, 2012 4 Pages
Compare and contrast the ideas of Classical criminologist (e.g. Beccaria and Bentham) with those of the early Positivist (e.g. Lombroso, Ferri Garofolo).


During the mid to late seventeenth century explanations of crime and punishment were embraced by many philosophers Thomas Hobbs (1588-1679), John Locke (1632-1704), and Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) and such theorist as Beccaria (1738), an Italian who was highly recognised by his great success through his essay ’Dei delitti e delle pene’ (On Crimes and Punishment) publicised in translations of 22 languages, effectively leaving huge impressions on the legal thoughts on members of the European and US society (Hopkins Burke 2009), developing the theory of ‘Classical
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With this Beccaria developed further studies within the ‘Social contract’ theory, the voluntary agreement of the members of an organised society and its government securing mutual protection and welfare regulating the relation among its members, explaining that the previous methods of torture through capital punishment was unnecessary, he deemed these barbaric and inhumane, through this Beccaria began developing ideas that the crime itself should be dealt with efficiently not the criminal, thus the individual should be penalised for the crime committed. Each and every individual member of society whether an abiding member or criminal has equal rights and this always remains.
Beccaria’s classical school of thought brought about scholars Bentham (1748) an English juror and philosopher who defensively argued that punishment should be a deterrent for criminals, that penalties be fixed to inflict the sum of pain in surfeit of the pleasure that had derived from the criminal act (Hale, Hayward Wahidin

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