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Copy of A Brief History of Crime

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Billy Macfarlane

on 15 September 2014

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Transcript of Copy of A Brief History of Crime

A Brief History Of Crime
Ancient Babylonians - 1772 BC
Oldest known laws
Based on an
'eye for an eye'
However this caused instability so courts were set up so that the
could deliver
Ancient Roman Laws - 450 BC
Concerned with individual crimes and protecting the security of the state. Crimes included treason, rioting, theft, embezzlement and poisoning. Special courts were set up to deal with these cases. Roman’s advanced law a great deal and included many of the features of modern law of which we are familiar.
• Presumption of innocence
• Lawyers
• Legislation for criminal charges
• Evidence

Middle Ages
Crime was believed to be due to
supernatural forces
Punishment was archaic and involved tests of God through
trials of ordeal
such as drowning suspected witches, burning at the stake and trial by combat.
Natural disasters such as floods and droughts were thought to be
God’s punishment
for crimes committed by communities.
Cost vs. Benefit analysis
Individuals are
and that includes criminals
Criminal Justice System (CJS) was unclear and needed to be reformed to make costs clear

After the Enlightenment of the 17ᵗʰ and 18th centuries there emerged a new focus on
in academic disciplines in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Thinkers such as Freud, Skinner, Durkheim, Darwin were hugely influential.
Criminology is multidisciplinary but can be split into
individual positivism
(psychology and biology) and
sociological positivism
Both forms of positivism seek scientific

Late Modernity
After World War II people began to challenge
consensus opinions
For example the
civil rights movement
With regards to crime it was believed that crime is
socially constructed
and therefore changeable and not suited to positivist methods
Post modernists attack positivist theory.

It is not a theory as the nature of post modernity is to challenge the very construction of theory – it is an anti-theory.

Postmodern criminology rejects universal explanations for criminal behaviour and instead argues that there is a wide range of explanations that may be derived from individuals attaching different meanings to similar actions.
"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind"

Create your own criminological theory timeline

For homework you will need to research further detail into each of the time periods shown using the link which has been e-mailed to you

For your controlled assessment one of the assessment criteria (AC) for the first unit is
AC1.4 Outline development of criminological theories

This includes reference to the timeline regarding criminological theory.

This includes;
 How theories were established
 How theories evolved
Full transcript