Classical Criminology

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  • A philosophy originally developed during the Enlightenment in the 18th century by Cesare Beccaria and Jeremy Bentham. Due to inconsistencies and the arbitrariness of the judicial process, in addition to the widespread use of torture as a practice for punishment and the extraction of confessions, both philosophers called for the humane treatment of prisoners. They spoke against the use of corporal and barbaric punishments, which were inherently incongruous with the underlying principles of a civilized society. Certain principles characterize the classical-criminology perspective. For punishment to deter future crime, it should be certain (the offender's chance of being apprehended and prosecuted is highly probable), swift (the time between the act and the punishment should be as brief as possible), and severe. Punishments should be based on ...

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