Cause of Crime Essay

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Causes of Crime Ever since Cain killed Abel, crime has flourished in societies around the world. Regardless of wealth, language, culture or religion, countries face offenders of every kind on a daily basis and ask themselves what can be done to stem the tide. In this paper I will examine the theories put forth by the experts of that time and give my personal opinion of these theories. I will discuss the Classical School, the Positive School, and the Neo-Classical School of criminology. At the heart of the Classical School of criminology are the figures of Cesare Beccaria and Jeremy Bentham. Beccaria held the belief that the problem was not intrinsically the nature of the person, but that the laws were incorrect. He proposed a complete overhaul of the justice system as it stood at the time to ensure that everyone was treated equally under the law (DeMelo, 1999). He believed this to be necessary because at that time there was no set punishment for given crime. This gave the sentencing judge extreme liberty in the passing of sentences. Bentham, on the other hand, believed that people made a rational decision to commit a crime after carefully weighing all of the alternatives and possible consequences. Because of this theory, he believed that the punishment given to those who committed crimes should be only slightly more painful that the pleasure they derived from the act itself. In his theory, called utilitarianism, people would cease to commit crimes when the consequence outweighed the pleasure (Mautner, 1998). The Classical School still has much to offer us in the present with its stress on looking at the laws to ensure that they are fair for all and its call for restraint in the punishment of criminals. I believe that we, as a nation, need to examine our laws closely and throw out those which have been passed merely to bolster the career of a politician and do

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