Compare and Contrast the Classical and Positivist School of Criminology

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Compare and contrast the ideas of Classical criminologist (e.g. Beccaria and Bentham) with those of the early Positivist (e.g. Lombroso, Ferri Garofolo).


During the mid to late seventeenth century explanations of crime and punishment were embraced by many philosophers Thomas Hobbs (1588-1679), John Locke (1632-1704), and Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) and such theorist as Beccaria (1738), an Italian who was highly recognised by his great success through his essay ’Dei delitti e delle pene’ (On Crimes and Punishment) publicised in translations of 22 languages, effectively leaving huge impressions on the legal thoughts on members of the European and US society (Hopkins Burke 2009), developing the theory of ‘Classical criminology’ and Lombroso (1835) an Italian psychiatrist and a physician who brought forth the theory of the ‘Positivist’s criminology’. This essay will present the two contrasting theories within criminology, these are ‘the Classical’ and ‘the Positivist’ theory of criminology, presenting a brief introduction to each school of thought with the theories and their theorist, comparisons will drawn presenting contrasts to each theory’s principle, with their methodological, scientific and philosophical approaches to crime, with the same aim to reduce and control crime. Hale,C.,et al (2005 p.62).

The school of thought ‘Classical criminology’ developed during the times of enlightenment through the ideas of a theorist named Cesare Beccaria (1738-94), who studied crimes, criminal behaviour and punishments, with beliefs that those who commit crime hold responsibility for themselves and are uninfluenced by external factors building the foundations for other successful proponents and advocates such as Cesare Lombroso (1836-1909), an Italian psychiatrist aspirant who presented theoretical explanations to crime and criminality though scientific methodology adapting the contrasting theory of the positivist Contrastingly, the positivist...
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