Classicism: choice and control

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Birth of Criminology: historical context

Modernity and the (European) Enlightenment:

  • 16th century - Portestant Reformation
  • 17th centruy - Scientific Revolution
  • 18th century - Philosophical Enlightenment 
  • 19th century - Industrial Revolotion 
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Classicim and Enlightenment:

  • Classicism is a product of philosophical enlightenment.
  • Critque of old regime and irrational features of much of the institutions of society, including, crucially for the beginnings of criminology, the criminal justice system. 
  • for a discussion of the influence of enlightenment thinking about crime and justice.
  • LOOK AT CARRABINE ET AL. 
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Pre-modern Criminal justice:

  • the 'bloody code' - execution
  • arbirary, disproportionate, punishments.
  • extensive use of capital and corporal punishment.
  • transportation
  • retribution 

Cesare Beccaria: (1764)

"The end of punishment, is no other, than to prevent the criminal from doing further injury to society, and prevent others to committing the like offence" 

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Classical Understanding of human nature:

  • Pain and suffereing as a natural part of human condition
  • human beings are rational
  • our will and we are free to choose out human behaviour (supernatural (religious, beliefes etc) and natural forces can influence our human will) 
  • principle way of controlingbehaviour is through fear - fear of pain or punishment.
  • fear means humans wil make the right choices.
  • state has the right to punish behaviour, but should do so through an organised, rational system which included the centralisation of enforcement, courts, and penal practices.
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Cesare Beccaria: 1764:

1) Cerainty (all offenders are punished) 

2) Celebrity - Cime ---- swiftness ---- punishment 

3) Severity (proportionate)

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Cesare Beccaria: 1764:

1) Cerainty (all offenders are punished) 

2) Celebrity - Cime ---- swiftness ---- punishment 

3) Severity (proportionate)

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Jeremy Bentham: 1798

"nature has placed mankind under the governance of 2 sovereign masters, pain and pleasure."

"its from them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as determine what we shall do/" 

Panopticon 1791: 

"new moder of obtaining power of mind over mind"

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'governmental project'

  • all individuals are equal, free-willed and rational actors driven by hedonism (pleasure-pain principle)
  • criminals are those who rationally calculate the costs and benefits of offending;
  • such calculations need to be deterred through the certainty, speed and severity of punishment.
  • punishment should be proportionate to the offence
  • only particular offences should be punished not offender (individuals are punished for what thy do not for who they are)
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'governmental project'

  • all individuals are equal, free-willed and rational actors driven by hedonism (pleasure-pain principle)
  • criminals are those who rationally calculate the costs and benefits of offending;
  • such calculations need to be deterred through the certainty, speed and severity of punishment.
  • punishment should be proportionate to the offence
  • only particular offences should be punished not offender (individuals are punished for what thy do not for who they are)
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classicim:

  • end of indeterminate sentencing
  • truth in sentencing 
  • death penalty
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Legacy of classicism (1)

Foundations of modern criminal justice systems: 

  • basis for principles of criminal law
  • abolition of capital and corporal punishment and establishment of the penitentiary (prison) 
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Legacy of classicism (2)

development of contemporary crime prevention:

  • situational crime prevention
  • - preventive technologies
  • countering rational choices about the risk, effort and reward of offending (Clarke 1980) 
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Routine activities theory:

+ supply of motivated offender.

+ presence of suitable targets.

+ absence of capable guardians

= Crime 

Cohen and Felson, 1979

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R.A.T Research:

  •    
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interpreting the legacy of classicism:

  • A more effective means of disciplining subordinate classes and social groups in more industrialised societies. 
  • influence on the institutional architecture of social control in everyday life. 
  • history of progressive enlightenment. 
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...

  • offenders are rational actorswhoes calculations to offend can be shaped by alterationg in certainty, speed and severity of punishment. 
  • all crime if rational action. 
  • high focus of the hedonistic calculus (but should this be genrealised to all types of offending? 
  • can it be falsified? depends on whether objective notion of rationality can be agreed and measures.
  • majoy criticism of classicism is that it is a normative rather than empirical or 'scientific' theory premised on values rather than evidence. 
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