Essay by thomas123456789Elementary School, 1st gradeF, November 2014

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Criminology - Explain how crime and criminal justice have been theorised.

Jonathan Docherty

In the 18th and 19th centuries so called criminologists such as Jeremy Bentham and Cesare Beccaria came up with theories to show how crime was committed, why crime was committed and who committed crime, Beccaria born in Italy and Bentham born in England both were utilitarian's. These theories were the first and most rational way to prove why someone committed a crime. The two most popular types of theories in these days were the 'classicist school' theory and the 'positivist' theory. They were different as they were both in different centuries. The first one being the 'classicist' in the 18th century then the 'positivist' coming in the 19th century. They were different in many ways but the mist obvious being that 100 years had passed.

Before even classicist emerged it was said crime was committed by an inner spirit i.e.

the devil, when it was said that it was the work of the devil the authorities used to punish criminals in violent ways for their betrayal of god.


First of all the classicist theory was the more rational of the two in his own words Beccaria (1764) states that;

'One of the greatest curbs on crime is not the cruelty of punishments, but their infallibility. [...] The certainty of punishment, even if it be moderate, will always make a stronger impression than the fear of another which is more terrible but combined with the hope of impunity; even the least evils, when they are certain, always terrify men's minds'.

This show's that he believed that criminals were as scared of the punishment that was inevitable for them and that it would be a deterrent to anyone who wanted to commit crime in any shape or form,