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Criminological Theories Table Notes

History Notes > Crime and Punishment in England c.1280-c.1450 Notes

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Theory Classical /
Deterrence Beccaria Bentham Rational Choice Cornish Clarke

Main Concepts

Main Propositions

Certainty, celerity, Punishment of severity of legal crimes produces punishment specific and general deterrence Rewards v. costs Expected utility of crime Rational choice

Empirical Validity


Weak Large body of research

Tough criminal justice policies and programs

Decision to violate None for pure Similar to deterrence the law made after rational choice, and routine activities rational weak for moderate theories consideration of for modified models, Situation specific rewards and costs sizeable body of prevention research

Routine Activities Motivated offender Crime occurs when Weak Routine precautions Felson Vulnerable targets routine activities Little direct testing and prevention Cohen or victims produce lack of Target hardening Capable guardians guardianship of Change in routine targets in the activities presence of motivated offenders Early Biological Lombroso Hooton Modern Biosocial Mednick Ellis Rowe

Psychoanalytic Friedlander

Born criminal Criminals are born Atavism Criminals are Biological inferiority inherently defective

Essentially none Small body of research

Eugenics Permanent segregation from society

Genetic heritability Crime results from Weak Prenatal care Slow neurological genetically or Modest bit growing Genetic counselling arousal biologically caused body of research Community Low IQ criminal programs to counter Biological susceptibility in genetic susceptibility imbalances interaction with Other biological social factors susceptibility Abnormalities of id Crime is symptom of Very weak Ego irrational, Small body of direct Superego unconscious motives research Psychiatric disorder and psychiatric disturbance

In depth individualised psychotherapy

Personality Traits Hathaway

Antisocial or maladjusted personality traits

Crime results from the individual's personality traits

Weak to moderate Large body of research

Individual or group psychological counselling

Psychopathic Personality Hare

Psychopathy Sociopathy Personality syndrome of shallowness Selfishness No conscience

Psychopaths have a very high probability of committing serious and persistent crime

Weak Sizeable body of research

Little chance of changing psychopaths with treatment or early intervention

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