Classical Criminology And Modern Criminology

1412 WordsMay 10, 20176 Pages
Classical criminology is “usually seen as the first ‘real’ criminology” (Tierney,2009), due to its emergence in the eighteenth century, heralded by scholars Jeremey Bentham and Cesare de Beccaria. It is centred on the ‘act’ rather than the ‘offender’, as well as the use of punishment as a deterrence. Yet whilst classical criminology has evolved slightly over time, it’s narrow minded focus on the ‘offence’ rather than the ‘offender’ can result in the overlooking of crucial details that may have facilitated the offence. Such details can include low-socio economic upbringing, mental health issues or social inequality. Therefore, when dealing with youth crime in Melbourne, only a limited amount of crime is explainable as classical…show more content…
Young offenders are risking greater ‘pain’ such as lengthy imprisonment or large fines, for dangerous offences like car theft, or home invasions. This reckless ignorance of potential outcomes, is not taken into perspective when looking at it from a classical perspective. The inability to understand the recklessness and lack of rationality in Melbourne’s youth, is a key weakness and limitation of Classical criminology. Whilst people do have the free will to make decisions, classical theory does not register the impact of extenuating circumstances such as a low-socioeconomic upbringing, or mental illnesses as a motivator for crime. This is due to the classical perception of all humans as rational beings. This meaning the individual makes rational decisions after calculating the best outcome. They decide whether to act in a devious manner or to continue abiding by societies rules. Through this definition, Classical principles render a large number of crimes committed unexplainable, due to its ignorance towards behaviour deemed irrational. It is summarised perfectly as an “overly rational vision of human nature”(Criminology,2004). Dr Chris Lennings wrote a paper explaining links between illness and crimes committed by youths in Australia. Although it is not specific to Melbourne it does help depict the limitations of classical Criminology’s limitations. After an analysis of

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