After a century of criminological theory

Sociologists who compared the patterns of moral development between delinquents and nondelinquents found some differences between the groups, but these differences were not conclusive. They sought to identify environmental factors that provided the opportunity to commit crime.

According to Beccaria and Bentham the basis of all social action should be viewed as the utilitarian concept which results in the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people in society. Beginning in the era of modern criminology, the emphasis of the discipline shifted.

Over time, several schools of thought have developed. If the costs were made high with harsh penalties then this would put off all but the most determined of criminals.

Positivism: Positivism was first proposed by Auguste Comte — his theory sought to quantify, classify and acknowledge humanities individual differences when dealing with criminal acts.

schools of criminology notes

During this time period criminologists developed a diverse collection of theories of criminal behavior based upon very different disciplinary assumptions.

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Cesare Lombroso & The Origins of Modern Criminology