Classical Theory And Neoclassical Theory Criminology

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Criminology is the scientific study of crime and criminals. Criminological theories have provided empirical insight into factors that explain crime. However, as research developed they noticed that not just one theory can adequately explain crime and delinquency. In the early stages of research, they found the neoclassical theory that evolved from the classical school theory that made the assumption of “free will,” and that humans acted on rational choice. It was later developed that biological theories rejected the idea of “free will” and believed that human behavior could be due to genetics or human development starting at a young age. I will be going into better detail about the theories and their underlying assumptions, and how both theories play a significant role into our current knowledge of crime today. The neoclassical theory is a revision of the classical school when it comes to factors that might inhibit the exercise of free will. The theory defines criminal behavior as a rational choice; however, the theory didn’t examine every type of crime. Neoclassical focuses on crimes that are often violent or uncontrollable, and committed by offenders who appeared incapable of remorse. (Bohm & Vogel, 2011 pg. 21) They believed that in order to deter, reduce, or eliminate crime, it needed to begin with stricter child practices, enhanced punishments, and increased surveillance and security. When it comes to the punishment of crimes, the punishment needs to fit the crime.

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