People committed crimes for different reasons and Lombroso felt that if society designed suitable programs, such as rehabilitation and mentoring programs, then people would be less inclined to commit offenses, thus eliminating crime altogether in the society. Weakness and Limitations Several problems existed with both schools. Both did not observed women offenders and only a small segment of the society fitted into their observations. As well, the data did not indicate whether both men did a random sample of their population.
This poses major problem for it would not have been a true representation of the prison population. In addition, they only observed "white" men and nowhere in the data did "Black or Asian" came up, which only proves that at the time of their observation, they sought only to include a specific "type" in their data analysis. The Classical School's ideology was to use the principle of proportion to fit the degree of crime and advocated that all human beings were free and "rational thinkers who carefully calculated the consequences of their behaviour" (Linden and Caputo, 2000:184).
But, what proportion of all the individuals involved in a major crime falls into such a category? Many sociologists would argue that it ignored the fact that some people are incapable of making free and rational choices on the basis of the gross inequality they experience, their state of mind, and the huge amount of problems that may have influenced their decision-making capabilities (183). In this system, young offenders who committed serious crimes would be judged and punished (let us lock them up and throw away the key attitude!) as an adult even though, research indicated otherwise, that children minds are not fully formed as that of an adult, thus rendering them incapable of making sound informed decisions of what is right or wrong. Although, a 14 year-old offender's might be physically developed and might understand that he or she had killed someone, the individual lacked the mental and emotional capacity to know the wrongfulness of his or her actions.
As well, this system would render that if an adult committed a crime the offenders' personal characteristics and demographics, family dynamics and circumstances would not be taken into consideration in sentence hearings; in addition, the State would have more power in passing stricter laws, and probably would signal out certain people (the lower class) to impose stricter punishment on. (In the neo-classical criminal system prisoners are released earlier with good behaviour, but in the classical system that is not the case).
The courts were not interested in the mens rea of the criminal, and this resulted in strict punishment for deviant behaviour. "Although punishments could be rationally determined on paper, their application in real life often resulted in gross injustices" (183). As impressive as the Positive School's research was it did not hold up to empirical testing, which rendered it not as useful for several reasons. First, Charles Goring found hardly any "evidence of statistically significant patterns of physical differences" (Edwin Schur, 1969) when he made comparison of Lombroso's theory by testing several hundred English prisoners.
Schur stated that although some criminals were shorter than some, were heavier than some, and had different body types Goring and his associates found that there was no "such thing as a physical criminal type" (57). Secondly, Lombroso's research on criminal behaviour being biological has many shortcomings. Researchers such as Ernest Hooton supported Lombroso's claim in his book titled "Crime and The Ma. " that criminals were on the lower end of the evolutionary ladder. After examining and measuring several hundred prisoners, Hooton, asserted that crime was as a result of "low-grade human organism" (Linden and Caputo, 2000: 191).
He believed that by getting rid of, or segregating, the physically, mentally and morally "unfit" people crime in the society could be eliminated. Thirdly, because crime is a socially constructed term, as well as prosecution, conviction and arrest (Linden and Caputto, 2000: 201) the likelihood that criminal behaviour is biological needs more extensive research and is very uncommon. "… Biological states and factors that are directly related to criminal behaviour are very rare" (204). However, research has indicated that children who offend in the childhood are more likely to do so in adulthood (205).
As well, a 15 year-old offender, who has many run-ins with law officials from a child, has had several accounts of recidivism knows that he or she will just get a "slap on the wrist" by going to a juvenile home. This behaviour might be psychological, or manipulative or is associated with biological factors. Many cross-sectional investigations suggested that children, especially boys, before they even begin offending usually act differently from "their peers on a number of biological and behavioural measures" (205). Incidentally, in some instances, these young offenders later on become adult criminals.
Finally, research has indicated that there is no direct correlation between biological factors and criminal behaviour. Linden and Caputo pointed out that, if, biological factors do exist they might include birth defects, brain damage, certain kinds of epilepsy; and that children with short attention span, impulsiveness, and aggression usually grow up to become antisocial adults (227). Analysis of Crime On May 24, 2003 A&E televised Investigative Report: The Parole Board, which was narrated by Bill Curtis. The program examined the methods used to parole prisoners.
A four-member parole panel interviewed seven prisoners who were up for parole. The panel asked the prisoners behavioural and psychological questions, which contributed to their release, or not. Of the seven prisoners only two got paroled because the four-member panel felt that these two men had contributed to their rehabilitation, by showing that they were responding to their treatment in prison; by engaging in social activities, such as education, volunteering and mentoring programs; and would not be a threat to society.
Lombroso theories suggested that emphasis should be placed on the criminal thus the prisoners' self-help rehabilitative process, demographics information, and circumstances, such as responsibility for the crime and victim, plus other factors were taken into consideration before the parole panel could make any informed decisions. In Canada, the same parole processes are applicable. As well, it citizens are protected by the Charter of Rights of Freedoms and the Criminal Code of Canada. Constable C.
Bagher at the Halifax Metropolitan Police Station stated that when adults, who are first-time offenders, are caught shoplifting (most shoplifting is committed by females) they are usually sent to an adult immersion program that is facilitated by the Ministry of the Attorney General on Spring Garden Road. Mr. Vernon Chisholm, the parole officer in charge of the immersion program said that an offender usually would only visit him if he or she were recommended by metro police, or was a first time offender.