Criminology as a science was established in 1879. The term criminology was used for a first time by the French anthropologist Paul Topinard. Before that date, criminology was a part of criminal law study. Paul Topinard (1830-1911) was a French medical doctor and anthropologist. Topinard was a Deputy Director of Laboratory for anthropology and secretary-general of the Anthropological Society in Paris. In 1871, Topinard received his doctorate and  in1879 became the first scientist who used the term "criminologie" or criminology. Although he was marginalized by his colleges, because of his political and ideological theses about the development of anthropology, he is regarded and known as a father of criminology in Europe. In 1885 Italian sociologist, Rafael Garofalo (Criminologia) adopted Topinard's term criminology and defined it as a science which studies crimes.


Criminology definition
                                                  Historical overview of criminology

Theoretical schools of criminology



Criminological school of demonology

The first school of criminology was the school of demonology. This school doesn't have own representatives, but is based upon deterministic ideas that people commit their crimes under influences of demons. Therefore, people aren't responsible for behavior or crimes, because they can't control their behavior. The whole world is actually a place where evil and good forces conflict with each other, and all that people can do is to hope that they won't get in their way. These believes existed from early days of human history, and are known as a dualism or animism. Demonology was even present in Christian tradition since early days, and was cherished until second half of 18th century. Events that couldn't be explained by the common sense were contributed to acts of demons and possessions. The word demon originally means: "the one who has the power or powerful one." It was thought that people who had epileptic seizures were possessed by demons.


Demonology in criminology

Classical school of criminology/classical theory of crime in criminology



Concept of free will includes beliefs that humans are rational beings capable to make own decisions (indeterminism). Therefore, crime is a possible choice of individual's behavior. 

Classical criminology


Rational choice theory (1980) continues the formulation of classical theory. This theory introduces the importance of an economic aspect in crime and formulates that committing of crime includes expected rewards, associated costs and benefits.
 
Nullum crimen, sine lege. ( No crime, without the law)

1. Lex scripta means that the law must be in the written form.

2. Lex stricta means that the law must be strict.

3. Lex certa means that the law must be clear and understandable.

4. Lex praevia means that the law cannot be applied on cases, which existed before the law.

Bentham proposed that punishment shouldn't be applied when:
 

1. there is no crime, because a consent or clearance was given,
 

2. punishment has no effect on a will of the perpetrator ( insane people or juvenile delinquents ),
 

3. damage made by the punishment could be larger then the damage done trough a crime, and when
 

4. the same goal can be achieved with milder measures.

Positivist-criminology school

There were two theoretical currents within this school:Italian school of criminology and positivist-sociological school. The Italian criminology school was represented trough theorists like
Cesare Lombroso, Enrico Ferry and Rafael Garofalo. Italian school of criminology based its research interests on the criminal. Italian positivist- anthropological school was founded by Cesare Lombroso. Cesare Lombroso (1835-1909) was a social Darwinist, who opposed to Cesare Beccaria and Jeremy Bentham.

Positivist school of criminology



Italian school of criminology and their contribution

Italian school of criminology was the first school of criminology that tried to scientifically explain crime causation using scientific methods. Cesare Lombroso was the first one who tried to establish the connection between human physical constitution and criminality using anthropometry and phrenology. Human physical characteristics (body constitution) don't have anything to do with criminality, because the body constitution is a biologically inherited characteristic and crime is a social phenomenon defined by lawmakers. There is no such thing as a "natural crime" nor there exists any "natural criminal". Some scientists really believed in charlatan and quasi-scientific ideas of Italian school and tried to implement them into laws. 



Lombroso was the most controversial character of Italian school. Lombroso was an Italian medical doctor who conducted ruffly about 3000 anthropometric measurements on dead or wounded soldiers. He developed the theory about the "born criminal" and also developed the classifications on other types of criminals. Cesare Lombroso was a phrenologist, who like many other phrenologists thought that they can be the associate criminal behavior and physical constitution. Lombroso was a supporter of biological determinism. Criminality was according to Lombroso an inherited behavioral characteristic. This was an example of completely wrong scientific approach. 

Lombroso wrote two books called: "Delinquent (Criminal) man and "Delinquent (Criminal) woman." Enrico Ferry wrote a book called "Social criminology" (Sociologia criminale),  which was published in 1884. Garofalo was the first one who coined the term criminology according to some criminology  theorists, but truth is that he adopted Topinard's term "criminologie". Rafael Garofalo published the book "Criminology" in 1885. Italian school of criminology claims that people are fully responsible for own behavior. Italian school was heavily influenced by social Darwinism. Social Darwinism is still present today among social anthropologists or biologists. Some ideas of social Darwinism were implemented by the Nazis, which were influenced by the American Eugenics Movement (1907 - 1939). In Germany, they had a program called "Lebensborn," which produced about 35 000 children deriving from SS officers and the best looking German girls.  

Sociological school of criminology was mainly concentrated in France, where the sociology as the science was established trough Auguste Comte in 1839. Sociologists claim that people aren't responsible for own behavior, because they cannot influence on it. Human behavior is a complex result of multiple factors, which are divided into biological, psychological and sociological factors. In 1835, sociology was referred as a social physics. Social theorists considered that social factors are no different than natural factors. Therefore, social complexity was considered to be ruled by natural laws. Later, theorists reconsidered it, and found that the social dynamics is more complex than the natural. Natural events are ruled by simple laws and can be easily predicted, while social dynamics is ruled by natural events and those events that are human caused.

Positivist sociological school puts the perpetrators of criminal acts at the center of its interests. This school is created at the time of revolutionary changes in the mid-19th century; the emergence of sociology as a science (1839) and Darwin's theory of evolution. Positivists advocate for determinism and reject the concept of free will. These theorists also advocate for individualized treatment of perpetrators and indeterminate sentences. As part of its deterministic ideas, this school advocates that a man is totally determined by biological, psychological and sociological factors.

Sentences with indefinite durations are ideal for authorities eager for excuses to get rid of undesirable individuals. The state/authority in this case takes the care about a delinquent, and since he is unable to control own behavior, it is totally uncertain how long will the imprisonment treatment/rehabilitation take.

Human rights are granted according to various democratic Constitutions. Human rights aren't given, but earned trough struggle against dictatorships.Governments cannot take those rights, but can restrict them only with a judicial decision.


In 1870's social conflict theories stated that crime is a response on social inequality. Cause of crime is an unequal distribution of social and economic power in the society. Lower classes are often forced to rebel against upper classes. Therefore, crime is a natural response of lower classes.

Neoclassical school of criminology is based on classical postulates of Anselmo Von Feuerbach, Prince Van Hamel, Franz v. Liszt and Filippo Gramatica. Key interest is the criminal policy (anti-delinquent policy) that was established in 1889 as a scientific discipline. Theorists of this school are mainly focused on the efficiency of criminal policy. Neoclassical school of thought is a reaction on the classical school of criminology and positivists. It focuses its research interests on the criminal. Neoclassical school of criminology is the continuation of classical tradition, but criticizes the classical school about the fact that they have disregarded individual differences between perpetrators. Differences between perpetrators will have an impact on the level of guilt and therefore will have an influence on the choice of punishment.

Their main questions were:
  1. how to make punishment more efficient,
  2. how to divert people from crime and
  3. how to reduce a crime rate.

Feuerbach developed the general and special theory of intimidation (general and special deterrence). According to the general intimidation theory, the punishment that is associated with severe suffering of the perpetrator should affect a general population to restrain itself from criminal behaviors. Special theory of intimidation claims that perpetrators who were severely punished, because of their crimes, will contain themselves from committing a crime ever again, if they develop an association: crime = punishment.



Criminology theoretical schools
 
The practice shows some different outcomes, which are related to the general theory of intimidation. During the public executions by hanging in England, number of thefts increased astronomically. "Opportunity makes a thief."

Throughout history criminologists have sought to create theories of crime causation. Many of those theories have been rejected, while other theories were only partially correct. Scientific imperative is that theory must be valid and accurate. The theory is an explanation of something. In order to be a valid theory must predict future occurrences of the observed or measured phenomenon, and to be validated trough empirical methods or experiment.


Difference between theoretical approaches of classical school and neoclassical school of criminology are in their stances towards the perpetrator of a criminal act. Classicist considered crime as a pure logical category, and doesn't consider perpetrators mental condition or influence of social environment. Crime is a choice, and there are only two roads: to behave according to the law or take a risk and break a law in an attempt to achieve some personal  gains or profits with such behavior.

 Crime causation theories are:

1. rational choice theory,
2. trait theories,
3. social structure theories,
4. social process theories,
5. development theories,
6. social conflict theories,
7. critical criminology and
8. other biological, social or psychological theories of crime causation.


Crime causation theories

2 comments
  1. Hasnain Don! 4.12.09  

    How you have done so marketing of your site in just 10 days by one post
    pls give tips to me

  2. Advocate Raja Jawad 28.5.16  

    Informative article