Classical Vs. Classical Criminology

989 WordsOct 11, 20154 Pages
The classical criminology school is arguably a controversial phenomena; largely based on their neglect to acknowledge human behaviour as a cause of crime (Morrison 1995). This has led some researchers to argue that classical criminology cannot be considered as a science (Garland 1985). Further, researchers have, however, disputed these claims, arguing that the research provided by classical criminologists is useful and has provided a gateway for many criminal justice reforms. In light of this, this essay will outline the classical criminological theory of crime causation, if any, and discuss how this position has impacted contemporary criminal justice practice. The key assumption of the classical criminological theory is that offenders are free thinking, rational and choice making individuals (Roshier and Cornish 1990), and thus an offender is responsible for their own actions (Valier 2002). Classical criminologists claim that every individual is hedonist, in that they make a rational choice regarding committing or not committing a criminal act, through employing a cost, benefit analysis (Pratt 2008). Essentially, an individual commits a criminal act only if it satisfies their individual interests and desires (Chen and Einat 2015), and maximises their pleasure thus minimising their level of pain (Chen and Einat 2015). Therefore, it can be argued that classical criminology theory does, somewhat, have an etiology of crime (Hughes 2003: 26). Instead, classical
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