18th Century Crime Control

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In this assessed task the discussion will focus on how some theorists have made a connection between crime control and social control, paying special emphases on the past three centuries. In answering this essay question it is important to keep in mind that both crime and crime control has changed on a revolutionary scale between these past centuries and to note that the banishment of death penalty was the singular, largest reform in the British penal system. During these centuries crimes were categorised into two: felonies and misdemeanours. Felonies, which were the most serious of crime and included the Crimes against Property: this included the robbery, theft, larceny, house breaking and burglary, and since England was still “essentially an agrarian society”, it also included game offences, poaching, theft of cattle, horses and deer, stealing of vegetables and provisions and the illicit gathering of fire wood. Many of these offences would have been carried out by the lower classes in a bid to survive or to provide for their families. Hall and McLennan (1986) Another category of felony was Crimes against the Person: this covered murder and manslaughter, sexual crimes such as rape and infanticide which is now believed to have been an early form of population control practiced by the poor in overcrowded suburbs such as London which saw a huge increase in population in the eighteenth century.. The final felony was that of Riotous Assembly: this charge was very common during this period of social disruption. ‘Unlawful Assembly’ could be used against a group of two or more people who had gathered to commit an act, whether lawful in itself or not and could lead to a breach of the peace. The most serious in this sub-category was that of
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