By Roger Hopkins Burke
This publication offers a finished and updated creation to criminological idea for college students taking classes in criminology at either undergraduate and postgraduate point. The textual content is split into 5 components, the 1st 3 of which tackle perfect style types of legal behaviour the rational actor, predestined actor, and victimized actor types. inside of those a number of the criminological theories can be found chronologically within the context of 1 of those diversified traditions, and the strengths and weaknesses of every concept and version are essentially pointed out. The fourth a part of the publication seems extra heavily at newer makes an attempt to combine theoretical parts from either inside of and throughout versions of legal behaviour, whereas the 5th half addresses a few key contemporary issues of criminology – postmodernism, cultural criminology, globalization and communitarianism.
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Extra resources for An Introduction to Criminological Theory, 3rd Edition
There is almost an inherent ‘presumption of guilt’ (King, 1981) and less respect for legal controls that exist to protect the individual defendant. These are seen as practical obstacles that need to be overcome in order to get on with the control of crime and punishment. If occasionally some innocent individuals are sacrificed to the ultimate aim of crime control then that is acceptable. Such errors should nevertheless be kept to a minimum and agents of the law should ensure through their professionalism that they apprehend the guilty and allow the innocent to go free.
People are rational creatures who will seek pleasure while trying to avoid pain. Thus, punishment must outweigh any pleasure derived from criminal behaviour, but the law must not be as harsh and severe as to reduce the greatest happiness. Moreover, the law should not be used to regulate morality but only to control acts harmful to society which reduce the happiness of the majority. He agreed with Beccaria about capital punishment, that it was barbaric and unnecessary, but disagreed about torture, allowing that on occasion it might be ‘necessary’ and thus have utility.
11. Punishment is imposed for the purpose of deterrence and therefore capital punishment is unnecessary and should not be used. 12. The prevention of crime is better than punishment. 13. Activities which are not expressly prohibited by law therefore not illegal and thus permissible. It is important to recognise that Beccaria’s ideas have had a profound effect on the establishment of the modern criminal law and, while they may not be expressed in quite the same way, it is easy to detect resonances of his views in any popular discussion on crime.