Jamea before they decide to enter the home.

Jamea Walker


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Cjus 305

Discussion Prompt 1


The major
difference between the classical and positivist perspectives is that the
classical perspective believes that criminals commit crimes by choice and basically
they always know what they’re doing. They believe the offenders punishment
should fit the crime and be nothing like how it was before. The classical
school idea came after the criminal justice system had been corrupt and
punished people harshly. Positivist on the other hand believe that crime is not
a choice, but it has something to do with science and biological factors. While
looking for a reason people offend they turn to science and expect to find an
answer which is biologically based. For that reason, they favor rehabilitation
over punishment. They believe if something is done medically they can stop
offenders from offending and there could possibly be a world with no crime.

“Risk and benefit”
calculation in my opinion is only analyzed by some offenders. Some may take a
step back and weigh their likelihood of being caught against the likelihood of their
crime being a success. If they feel they may get caught or that the crime is
not worth it then they may just pass up the opportunity. For example,
burglarizing a house, the offender may analyze and debate on certain factors
before they decide to enter the home. Other offenders have the mentality that
they want something and must have it. That can cause them to not think straight
and just commit the crime without thinking of the repercussions. An example of
that would be armed robbery, they may see a potential victim on the street and
once their adrenaline starts pumping and they think about getting cash or some
jewelry they may not analyze the situation. Those individuals live in the now
and their only focus is what they can get out of committing that crime.

Lombroso described
the criminal in a biological aspect, and although some of his reasoning seemed
accurate and correct, it was beyond flawed. He did not believe that free will
was the reason crime was committed, but that the offenders could not control
themselves. Lombroso believed that criminals looked a certain way and were all
born criminals. The idea of someone randomly becoming a criminal was one he did
not believe in. One of the main reasons his study was flawed was because the
group of people he analyzed were alike. The major decision made his study
biased and. Instead of using people who were different races and genders, while
working as a physician in the army Lombroso measured soldiers. Soldiers during
that time were majority young to middle aged white men. A simple change in the
people he studied could have made his theory more accurate.

Reducing crime is
one of the main goals in the criminal justice system. There are two deterrence
theories in place with the aim of deterring offenders away from their life of
crime. Those theories are specific and general deterrence. With great
intentions, the theories are not producing the results expected. Specific
deterrence directly affects the offender, if they commit the crime, the
punishment directly affects them.  The
other, general deterrence is where people who are contemplating breaking the
law see the punishment that another person receives for the same or a similar
crime. General deterrence use offenders as examples and hope that it makes
people open their eyes and think twice before committing a crime. The
deterrence theories have been ineffective because although prison gets the
offender off the streets it just teaches them how to be a better criminal once
they get out. Not all people are logical thinkers and that is where these theories
become ineffective and flawed. A great number of crimes are committed because a
person is not thinking rationally, they can be under the influence of drugs,
alcohol or they can just be a rage where their judgement in cloudy. In addition
to that, just like everyone else offenders often let the good in situations
outweigh the bad. Some of them are accustomed committing minor crimes without
getting caught, being apprehended is not a fear they have. Trying to deter
someone from committing a crime will take more than a few people getting caught
and a few people getting punished.