Bentham And Beccaria's Rational Choice Theory In The 17th Century

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Important thinkers such as Bentham and Beccaria revised the theory of rational choice theory within the 17th century which saw the history of the European movement, the Enlightenment, which was heavily influenced by these thinkers. The enlightenment entailed of the conception of reason and rationality when discussing such things as criminality or even religion. Beccaria was specifically known as a criminologist due to his large input into rational theory and deterrence. The act of rational theory suggests criminals come to rational conclusions before committing a crime as criminals will weigh up the costs and consequences of committing the crime before they do so. The act of punishment due to the rationality of such criminals derives from …show more content…
The second were those that were ‘mentally insane’, of which would be those with learning difficulties in the 21st century. Those that are 'criminaloids ' that commit crime at suitable opportunities and lastly those that commit crimes of ‘overwhelming’ passions. The first 3 are said to be linked to genetic factors so are in a sense “born criminals” however, clearly due to crimes of passion Lombroso to some degree not all criminals are “born criminals” (Tierney, 2009). When looking at if this works in reality, one can look at recidivism rates. Recidivism rates specifically are extremely high, at 59% of offenders reoffending within the first 12 months of being released from prison (open.justice.gov.uk, 2016). This theory could easily explain this, as those that are criminals are born to be criminals and do not choose so to be, thus they will always re-offend, thus the recidivism rates. Although this is quite an idealistic viewpoint as it poses no blame for the reoffending rates, this would be universally true, just as Lombroso’s theory is in his opinion. …show more content…
Furthermore with RCT, although studies of deterrence suggest the certainty of crime is what deters people from crime, this also removes the ability to understand situational factors as to why people commit crime which is clearly not always for their own benefit. However, with Lombroso, the beginnings of understanding biological traits and reasons is extremely important to our society by aiding our understanding in not only criminology but also mental health which has helped genuine research. The theory itself initially seems very understanding as it allows for the idea that people both can’t and does not choose to commit crime, but in my own opinion the reality of Lombroso’s theory clearly works in a way which has cut people out of society such as women and those of colour which allows for society to demonise these groups of people, which is unacceptable and isn’t subject to the reality we know

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