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Created: June 22, 2003
Latest Update: September 18, 2003

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Site Teaching Modules CRMJ/SOCA 233 Criminology: Week 4
The Classical School
You will be held accountable for purposes of grading for the readings and exercises listed here. There will be no "testing." That means that you will not have to live in anxious anticipation of what we will ask and how much you will have to know. Instead, we will provide weekly discussion questions, lectures, essays, and concepts we feel that you should know as a result of having taken this course. You will assure us of that learning and receive your grade for the questions and concepts about which you choose to write and talk with us. In addition, you will find detailed explanations and examples on our grading policies in the first week's reading.

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Week 4: Week of September 21, 2003

  • Topic: Classical School

  • Preparatory Readings:
    • Williams and McShane Criminology Theory chapters by Cesare Beccaria and Jeremy Bentham.
    • Pollock, ch. 5
    • optional Adler, ch. 2

  • Lecture: in class

  • Concepts:

    • deterrence (both general deterrence and special deterrence)
    • incapacitation
    • death penalty
    • freewill
    • utilitarian model
    • hedonism

  • Discussion Questions:

    1. What was the essence of the Classical School?

    2. According to Beccaria, what is the purpose of punishment?

    3. What does Bentham mean by "the principle of utility?"

    4. What are some present-day examples of the Classical School?

  • Past Lectures and Related Links:

      Crime and Criminal Law

      Measuring Crime

      Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics

  • Some Recommended Activities:

    1. Show and Tell: Bring in a current event as an example of a modern-day application of the Classical School.

    2. Death Penalty: Evaluate some of the websites both for and against the death penalty.

    3. Recommended Readings

      Howard Becker. The Outsiders. (labeling theory)

      Jeffrey Reiman. The Rich Get Richer, The Poor Get Prison.

    Now, check the Minimum Requirements for Criminology, Weeks 3 and 4.

    Site Copyright: Jeanne Curran and Susan R. Takata and Individual Authors, June 2003.
    "Fair use" encouraged.