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Schools in Criminology

Pre Classical School

The pre classical school was developed in 17 th century and got more flourished in Europe with the dominance of church and christen religion. During that era the concept of crime was vague and no specific definition. Criminal behaviour was sought through spirits, demons and unknown power. The principle behind the ideology was that criminals commit crime due to evil spirit and some external force which is beyond the thinking of human power. The wrath of God and natural justice was considered as punishment to the offenders. There was more trust in god to punish the convicts rather examination of scientific analysis and reasons behind the crime. These principles were also universally accepted then. This theory was based upon the omnipotence of spirit, which they regarded as a divine and superior power.

Neo Classical School

The pioneers of Neo classical theory were Cesare Beccaria, Bentham and Romilly. The observations of this theory was men were more dominating and self-seeking and therefore they commit offence on account of free will due to their power and no evil spirit is involved in the offence. According to this theory men experience a pleasure causing pain to others. This theory focused on the principle of deterrence rather than retributive theory.

The disadvantage was that this theory was based upon presumption of free will and relied solely on the act (i.e., the crime) without devoting any attention to the state of mind of the criminal or on the criminal. This theory prescribed equal punishments for same offence and had no distinction between first offenders and habitual criminals.

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