The Rational Choice Theory Of Criminology

1106 Words Mar 16th, 2016 5 Pages
The Rational Choice Theory
April Smolkowicz
Criminology 3200
Georgia Gwinnett College

The Classical School of Criminology was developed by two utilitarian philosophers, Cesare Beccaria and Jeremy Bentham during the early 17th century. The Classical School of Criminology is an important theory in the framework of criminal behavior, with principle themes that include: criminal acts are of individuals free will and rational deliberation, calculating, and hedonistic beings. Criminals make a rational choice and choose criminal acts due to maximizing pleasure and minimizing pain. As well as minimizing crime, the would be offender must be convinced that the likely punishment for the crime would be swift, certain and proportionately (Paternoster & Bachman, 2001, p. 11).
According to Paternoster and Bachman (2001), “the rational choice perspective was explicitly developed to assist policy thinking,” aside from, “every act of crime involves some choice by the offender and that he or she can be held responsible for that choice and can legitimately be punished (Paternoster & Bachman, 2001, p. 34).” A successful example of the rational choice theory illustrates as Paternoster and Bachman (2001) points out, “that studies of the victims of serial killers and rapists through Rossmo’s (1995) geographic profiling, which is bases on findings from environmental criminology (Brantingham & Brantingham, 1991) in that most crime is committed within activity spaces of offenders…

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