A Comparison and Contrast of the Classical and the Positivist Schools of Criminology

Topics: Criminology, Crime, Sociology Pages: 2 (593 words) Published: May 21, 2015
A Comparison and Contrast of the Classical and the Positivist Schools of Criminology

Criminology is basically the study of crime as a social event, including the consequences, types, prevention, causes and punishment of crime, and criminal behavior, as well as the impact and development of laws. Criminology became popular during the 19th century as an aspect of social development wherein the public attempted to identify the character of misdemeanours and develop more valuable techniques of criminal treatment and deterrence. In view of that, several diverse schools of thought in criminology eventually emerged, including the two of the most popular and diverging schools of thought today, the positivist school that focuses on the actor, and the classical school that focuses on the offense. Classical School vs. Positivist School of Criminology

The Classical School of Criminology is premised on the theory that people have free will in formulating decisions, and that punishment is capable of deterring crime, so long as it is carried out without delay and is appropriate and in proportion to the crime committed. The Classical School claims that although people are pleasure-seeking, they are a very rational creature. Moreover, although humans generally act on their own selfishness, they are likewise capable of judging and using the more appropriate approach in a given situation. In other words, people are deemed by the Classical School as moral creatures with unqualified freedom to choose between right and wrong. 

In addition, the Classical School believes that when humans commit a criminal act, the act is assumed to have been done of their own free will. Accordingly, this school of thought believes that people should be held or adjudged accountable for their wrongful acts. Nevertheless, the Classical School avers that a well-rounded government should enforce punishments and laws that allow people to properly assess the actions they can take in a given...
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