The classical school of criminology is one of the two major schools of criminology, the other being the positivist school. Originating in the 18th century, it refers to the emergence of philosophical utilitarian ideologies within criminological thought during the Enlightenment that is often traced back to Jeremy Bentham, Cesare Beccaria, and John Howard. This school of thought envisioned man as a rational, self-seeking being with free agency, and will weigh the risks and benefits of every situation and action so as to accordingly maximize pleasure and minimize pain. According to classical school thinkers, this accounts for the existence of crime as well as the need for a logical, rational penal policy which deters criminal behaviour through the threat of proportionate punishment, insofar as the punishment is proportional to the crime and carried out swiftly.
The classical school of criminology began to question the legal constructions of crime and penology, concerning itself with legal protections of both individual rights and that of society, and the social contract between citizens and the state. Classical criminology is founded on the notion that human beings have free will, certain inalienable rights, and are rational actors; it also holds that punishment is justified as a means of preservation of social contracts, due to the fact that crime is seen as a moral transgression against society. The classical school further developed into branches of neoclassical criminology focusing on individual rights and due process, such as conditional sentences, alternative modes of incapacitation that negate the necessity of imprisonment, and general deterrence as well as the death penalty within law and order.
At Homework Help USA, our experts in criminal law examine the classical school in relation to the positivist school of criminology, studying the various social and psychological forces that drive individuals to commit crime as well as the myriad aspects of criminal justice response, as well as associate factors such as the role of surveillance and environmental design. They are capable of producing argumentative and analytical aspects which discuss aspects of the classical school in action such as adjudication and punishment, conditions of societal obligations and the individual social contract, the principle and practice of rationality, and how criminal activity informs judicial policy in relation to ethical responsibility. Trust the experts at Homework Help USA – get a quote now!