Learning Objectives

After reading this chapter, you will be able to:

3.1 Identify the early theories as to why individuals have committed violent and other deviant acts for most of human civilization.
3.2 Summarize how the Age of Enlightenment drastically altered the theories of how and why individuals commit crimes, as well as how it changed criminal justice policies.
3.3 Describe how Cesare Beccaria’s work influenced criminal justice systems throughout the world, and discuss the concepts and propositions recommended in his book.
3.4 Explain what the Neoclassical School of criminology contributed to the propositions of the Classical School that led most of the Western world (including the United States) to embrace this model as the major paradigm for the criminal justice system.
3.5 Discuss why the Classical School explanation of crime fell out of favor in the late 19th century.
3.6 Summarize the impact that the Classical/Neoclassical perspective had on modern criminal justice systems, and identify some of the policy implications that have been implemented based on this theoretical framework.