Criminological Theory Essay Example

Like any field of academic undertaking, several theories in criminology have been developed in an effort to describe the causes of human’s deviant behaviour, and in order to better comprehends the criminals and criminal behaviour. Generally, the underlying theories in the criminal law justice system are complementary, rather than individual concepts. Theories such as classical and positivist can be used in concurrence with one another to affirm, build upon, contradict or challenge each other. The employment of the other theory can fill the space of theory that left the space (Lots of Essay, n.

d. ). Basically criminal behaviour is not all the times straightforward and simple, and in numerous cases both theory can illustrate to a particular crime. Nonetheless, the different theories of criminal justice system can be generally differentiated in how they respond the issue concerning punishment. Classical School Classical or juristic theory considers human freewill as the basis of criminal liability. Classical theory views every person as fundamentally moral being with a total independence to select between good and evil.

When a person perpetrates a criminal or felonious act, the act is believed to have been committed voluntarily, with intent, intelligence and freedom (Boado, 2004, p. 4). Therefore, under this theory human should be held or considered responsible for unlawful acts so long as freedom appears unimpaired. In classical theory, the purpose of punishment is retribution for the private offended party and the State. The imposable penalties for the crime are predetermined; as such the severity for each crime is considered directly in proportion to the committed crime.

Hence, the emphasis of the law is directed towards the offense. In criminology, classical theory is one of the generally employed theories (Lots of Essay, n. d. ). The rational choice of every individual assumes that they are of free will in choosing what behaviour they undertake, and that they formulate those choices based on reasonable assessments by taking into consideration the probable satisfaction or pain that the outcomes of their deeds will bring about (Lots of Essay, n. d. ).

Logically, majority of individuals prefer actions that they consider will capitalize on their satisfaction rather than their pain. Consequently, the punishment for crimes perpetrated are, as a rule, certain, severe, and swift. The classical theorist deems that with knowledge of the laws and the corresponding punishment for their violation, people would evaluate the transgression against the penalty and formulate a rational assessment. By considering so, the major objectives of the classical theory may be condensed on the following:

(1) To assure that a criminal employs only the required force ( Merlo, 2007, p. 1); (2) The deterrence of all unlawful offenses through predetermined penalty (Merlo, 2007, p. 1); (3) When crime is not averted, at least it would influence lawbreakers to perpetrate a lighter offence (Merlo, 2007, p. 1); and (4) To avert transgression as reasonably as possible (Merlo, 2007, p. 1). Critiques of classical theory suggest that the approach is individualistic as it ignores the criminal’s surroundings, social forces as well as cultural dimensions (Leighton, n. d. , p. 2).

In addition to their credence that the approach of classical theory is susceptible to capricious conciliations and that legal standard may reflect the desires of influential interests. Although the theory recognizes the importance to equal protection and due process, yet its application often effects to agreements in plea bargaining in which the offenders pleads guilty to a lighter offence, therefore benefiting them. Positivist School Historically, positivist theory came up in resistance to classical theory; since proponents of the theory believes that there are indispensable moral restrictions on the substance of law.

The purpose of the penalty in positivist or realistic theory is curative or corrective in order to reform the criminal. The consideration for criminal liability is grounded on the assumption that man is naturally good, yet because of his or her upbringing and the environment he or she grows to be socially sick (Boado, 2004,p. 4). The institution of punishment is based independently upon every criminal after taking into account his or her circumstances.

Therefore, the emphasis of the law is directed towards the perpetrator and not towards the offense. The principal hypotheses of the positivist theory are: (1) Human behaviour is not a matter of free will but it is determined (University of North Texas, n. d. , p. 15); (2) Social scientist can challenge their work (University of North Texas, n. d. , p. 15); (3) Criminals are basically distinct from noncriminal (University of North Texas, n. d. , p. 15); and (4) Crime is often caused by numerous reasons (University of North Texas, n. d. , p. 15).

According to the court, criminal law’s positivist theory declares that the source for criminal liability is the aggregate of the economic and social occurrences to which the crime is committed. In addition to social and economic basis, it may also include several other influences such as personal choice, psychological development, biology, etc. The State is not only worried in the essential obligation of safeguarding the social organization against the vicious individuals’ unlawful acts but as well in converting the aforesaid individual for economic value and other social functions.

Currently, the Probation Law and Indeterminate Sentence Law demonstrate the existence of the positivist theory in the criminal justice system. Currently, majority of criminologists consider that criminal behaviour is the creation of a multifaceted interface between biology and social or environmental circumstances. Thus, genetics or biology, in addition to other factors, confers a person an inclination to behave in a certain manner. Conclusion Classical or juristic theory believes every punishment as fitting to the corresponding crime, and penalizes those behaviours that harm others.

The theory believes that persons turn into criminal not because of pathology but for the reason of choice founded on cost-benefit inclinations within specified limits. Classical theory perceives crime as an infringement of the social contract that is carried out in the logical pursuit of self-interest. Classical theory values constraints and limits on preferences, and considers no more or less consistency than positivist theory. On the other hand, positivist theory is an abstract theory emphasizing the conservative nature of law.

The theory developed out of positive philosophy and the attitude and logic of experimental science. Positivist theory stands in resistance to numerous reflections of classical law. The theory focuses more on clearing up the origins of criminal behaviour. Therefore, the primary behaviour of an individual and the behaviour’s resulting characterization depend on the occasion’s social or environmental conditions. References Boado, L. (2004). Comprehensive Reviewer in Criminal Law. Rex Bookstore, Inc. Lots Of Essay. (n. d. ). Criminological Theories. Retrieved October 29, 2008, from http://www.

lotsofessays. com/viewpaper/1712412. html Leighton, P. (n. d. ). Contributions from Law and Economics: ‘Reason and Rationality. ’ Paulsjusticepage. Retrieved October 29, 2008, from http://www. paulsjusticepage. com/IntegratingCrim/IntegratingCrim-Ch8. pdf Merlo. (2007, December 22). Criminology Theory – Classical Theory. My Zipple. Retrieved October 29, 2008, from http://myzipple. com/forum/blog. php? b=19 University of North Texas. (n. d. ). Explaining Crime. Retrieved October 29, 2008, from www. unt. edu/cjus/Course_Pages/CJUS_2100/2100chapte…