The founder of positivism in criminology in generaland the biological direction, in particular, is Cesare Lombroso (1835-1909),who published his work “The Criminal”in 1876. C.
Lombroso, during his observations, concluded that criminal behavioris causal because a typical criminal can be identified by direct physicalcharacteristics, such as a beveled forehead, elongated or, conversely,undeveloped ears, massive chin, wrinkles on the face, large superciliaryarches, deeply set eyes and the like. He developed a classification ofcriminals: natural criminals; insane criminals; criminals for passion, whichinclude political maniacs; random criminals. For C. Lombroso, it turned out that one-third of theconvicts are people who have atavistic signs that bring them closer to savagesor animals, the second third is a borderline biological species, and the lastthird are random offenders who in the future will never again commit crimes (Lombroso).
The theory of C. Lombroso has not stood the test oftime, but its objective approach and scientific tools have begun to applyprecise methods in criminology. Later, he revised his theory and included inthe causal explanation of crime social and economic factors and the environmentof the individual (Lombroso). Even during the lifetime of Charles Lombroso, thetheoretical propositions he advanced were refined and supplemented by hispupils E. Ferri and R.
Garofalo. Enrico Ferri distinguished three types ofpredisposition to crime: · anthropological (physical structure of thebody, mental state, gender, age, marital status, upbringing, education); · physical (climate, soil characteristics,air temperature, seasonal fluctuations); · social (population density, morality,religion, and state of the industry, political order, and the like). Biological reasons he combined with social, economic,and political factors considered that the state should become that basic toolby means of which it is possible to achieve improvement of living conditions ofpeople (Glick, 2008). Rafael Garofalo (1852-1934), the disciple of C.
Lombroso believed that crime is an immoral act that harms society. He supportedpsychologism in explaining crime. R. Garofalo formulated the rules for adaptingand eliminating those who cannot adapt to the conditions of socio-naturalselection. He suggested the following: · todeprive the lives of persons whose criminal actions result from non-existentmental abnormalities that make them incapable of living in society; · partiallyeliminate or expose to long-term imprisonment those who prefer a roaming(nomadic) way of life; · compulsorilycorrect individuals who are not sufficiently developed altruistic feelings orwho have committed crimes in an extraordinary confluence of circumstances.
Thus, the biological theory of crime already in theworks of its founder Lombroso began to transform into a biosocial theory. Evenmore clearly, this transformation manifested itself in the views of Lombroso’sdisciples and associates: Ferri and Garofalo, who retained the basic theoriesof their teacher’s theory and significantly strengthened the role of socialfactors in crime. In subsequent years, biological and biosocial theories incriminology received a new interpretation, for which they were given the nameneolombrozian. Such theories include the theory of constitutionalpredisposition to crime, the theory of endocrine predisposition to crime, thetheory of psychological predisposition to crime, the theory of racialpredisposition to crime, etc. The common for all these theories is that theyrecognize the cause of the crime as some other physiological or psychologicalcharacteristics of the individual, make him, although not doomed, but prone tocommit crimes.
Studies of brain conditions and development alsoprovide some compelling research on the development of antisocial behavior.Raine (1995) and her colleaguessurveyed the literature and set forth two areas of the brain that may relate toantisocial behavior: the frontal cortex and the left hemisphere. The frontalcortex regulates aggression, self-control, social judgment, concentration, andintellectual flexibility, while the left hemisphere of the brain governs “functionsof language, verbal comprehension, and expressive speech”. Studies of adults and delinquent youth show lowerverbal IQ scores, suggesting that they may have a left hemisphere dysfunction.Based on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies, scientists believe that thebrain of a juvenile is less developed than that of an adult, especially in thefront lobe, which is responsible for executive, high order functioning, such asmemory, planning, and inhibition. Bower and others suggested that thiscondition presents some juveniles with difficulties in “regulating aggression,long-range planning, mental flexibility, abstract thinking, the capacity tohold in mind related pieces of information, and perhaps moral judgment”.
In addition to the recent findings on children’s,apparently inherent diminished brain functioning capacity, MRI researchsuggests that exposure to violent video games and television might negativelyaffect frontal lobe development and function. Because of these findings, advocates within thejuvenile justice field, such as the Human Rights Watch, are pressuringpoliticians and judicial leaders to reconsider harsh, punitive measures whensentencing juvenile violent offenders.