Views of criminology

Document Type:Essay

Subject Area:Criminology

Document 1

His mission, as stated in his work, was to change the attitude and refocus the criminal justice system. According to him, it was far much better to prevent crime than to punish it. Therefore, his whole philosophy rested on convincing people that committing a crime was not in his or her best interests. By default, he became the father of the “deterrence” principle. He asserted that human beings were rational and their decisions were affected by the environment in which they developed (Koch, 2019). If one grew up knowing that he or she could get away with breaking the law, he or she would not have much respect for legal statutes. He averred that a civilized society should create an environment in which following the law was the default position. Citizens should know that crime does not pay. Becarria began with the principle that human beings exercised free will. That meant that each and every criminal made the conscious decision to break the law. Therefore, he argued that one could be dissuaded from committing crimes using a rational process. The criminologist then argued that human beings are logical. They were able to weigh the pros and cons and then decide on a course of action. Finally, he opined that humans are hedonistic: they exist to maximize pleasure and avoid pain. Pursuant to these assertions, he espoused several principles which would serve to discourage people from breaking the law. The first principle was that punishment had to be prompt. He explained that the people should understand that any transgression will be arrested and dealt with in the shortest time possible.

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The criminal would neither have the time to enjoy the proceeds of his or her crime nor would he or she enjoy freedom. Secondly, the criminal justice system had to show the people that punishment was certain: there was no way of escaping sanction. Finally, the punishment had to be so severe that the benefits of breaking the law were not worth the risk. It was an exercise in both psychology and criminology and some of the arguments have proponents to this day. The main argument in this case is that there are intrinsic factors which make one a criminal. For instance, they cite genetic and biological factors which make some people prone to law breaking. Their research pointed out that some children are troublesome from the time they are young and thus cannot blame anyone for their proclivity to crime.

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The researchers also pointed out that one’s temperament and reality affected his or her likeliness to commit a crime. According to the theory, crime is a result of social pathology. It is the dysfunction in the human society which results in individuals who cannot follow rules. Their evidence lay in the fact that crime differed from region to region depending on social factors. Therefore, any solution to the crime problem had to be anchored in sociology. The social positivism theory would force the authorities to focus on the society as a whole and not just on the criminals. By that account, the solutions have to be highly specific to the particular pathology at play. Marxism Marxism on its part asserts that the capitalism system itself is prone to crime because of its very structure.

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According to Karl Marx and his fellow proponents, capitalism is all about greed. The system rewards those who can exploit others in the best way possible (Pashukanis, 2017). That means that by necessity, crime is a part of the system. According to them, the elimination of capitalism will get rid of greed (Rugiero, 2017). People who are not focused on amassing massive amounts of wealth will not be inclined to commit crimes. Additionally, the elimination of capitalism will make sure that all individuals are treated the same way. There will be no owners of capital to change the rules in their favor. To these individuals, capitalism is inherently criminal and thus needs to be eliminated. Jewkes, Y. and Linnemann, T.  Media and Crime in the US. Sage Publications. Koch, B. Explanations of crime.

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 Crime and justice: a guide to criminology, pp.

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