The functionalist theory of crime is used by sociologists. The  functionalist theory is a reaction on the psychoanalytical theory of delinquency. The main functionalist representative was Robert Merton. The part of functionalist theory, which explains criminality starts with an idea that all people are born benign (benevolent), while deviant impulsive behavior is induced socially. The theory is sometimes called "consensus theory," because it doesn't look on the society from a conflict perspective, but from a perspective of social harmony. Functionalists have described American society as the society, which has its cultural goals and institutionalized ways for achievements of those goals. Understandably, the main goal is the money (cash, bucks, fed notes, greens). Financial success is the major goal, and the ways to achieve it are the education and employment. Education and employment are the guarantee for achievement of financial success. Functionalist used Durkheim's strain theory to explain certain periods of societal dysfunctionality. During the period of social anomie, new inventions are made and deviants are focused on the achievement of goals and don't care much about potential consequences of theirs actions. Members of lower and middle socio-economic status wish to financially succeed, but don't have the access to legitimate and institutionalized means or resources. Because the goals are not achievable, some of them turn to illegal ways to reach a prosperity. Functionalist concluded that American society doesn't emphasize the importance to respect social norms.

Different reactions are possible on social anomie such as:

1. innovation

2. social conformism

3. ritualism

4. retraction and

5. rebellion .

 Functionalist theory critics state that functionalist offer the incomplete explanation on how the distribution of goals and resources is made. They also think that functionalist hadn't fully explained the connection between social anomie and delinquent behavior. Critics state that it isn't clear which of the social reactions includes delinquency.

Conflict theories are opposite to functionalist theories. Most common views of academics are that supporters of conflict theories are extreme leftist and communists. The both theories are a form of idealism.

Situational crime prevention focuses on the measures how to reduce the circumstances and conditions for criminals to commit a crime. The theory takes different theoretical approach than most criminological theories which dealt with etiological problems “post delictum”. Situational crime prevention theory is mostly preoccupied with models, which have a purpose to reduce criminal opportunities. Instead of dealing with a past, the theory uses empirical knowledge and is focused on a future.

Situational crime prevention theory has a practical application in designing urban residences, which use security alarms systems, detectors, security doors and other security devices and technologies. The goal of improving home security is to make imagined target of crime less reachable to criminals. Tight home security will eventually require a better planning of burglary, larger efforts to get insight of home security and motivation for achievement of criminal goals. If home security surveillance and monitoring system has the latest available technology, the criminals will probably give up making a burglary.

Rational choice theory can be implemented in this case, because the crime is a choice, which includes economic dimension. If the cost of preparing burglary is too high i.e. it doesn’t pay off, the criminal will make a calculation and conclude that a target is not worth of his efforts. The doors alone will not prevent someone from entering, but the risk of being caught “in flagranti” certainly does prevent  burglaries from happening.

Two major research fields in criminology theory: etiology and phenomenology.  In situational crime prevention theory, phenomenology is more expressed than etiology. Etiology looks at causes, while phenomenology looks at types and developments of crime. Phenomenology reviews criminal statistics, changes in crime rate of violent, sexual, property, white collar and other types of crime. It also draws conclusions about crime trends and effectiveness of police, using statistical values. There are various sources of crime statistics, but the main are: the police statistics,  the Court statistics and State attorney's statistics ( public prosecutor). For example, the police makes monthly, quarterly, half yearly or yearly reports on the number presumptive criminals and reported probable crimes. The police statistics is often used to make certain changes in the police organization like: to advertise need for new employees, to change its organizational structure into higher or lower category of police station, to estimate or make security analysis of certain geographical area or city, to make changes of police management or other.

Theories which existed before positivist theory of crime were phrenology and physiognomy theories. Johann Lavater, the physiognomist, thought that the shape of the skull and some facial features had an impact on a human behavior and actions. Later,  positivist theorist of crime Cesare Lombroso took Lavater’s ideas and began exploring other physical traits of a body. Lombroso, the criminal anthropologist, not only researched the facial features and the shape of the skull, but social conditions of individual like unemployment and medical history of illnesses. He compared a large number of criminals and non-criminals using human physical traits like: ear size, hair length and other. Goring, the main criticist of Lombroso, conducted the research on crime heredity, but didn’t find any differences in facial features or other human physical traits between prison inmates, asylum inhabitants and non-criminals. The only physical difference Goring found between an experimental and control group was the significant dissimilarity in body weight and stature. The criminals in Goring’s research tends to have the lower weight and small stature. Positivist's theorists of crime argued that human behavior is pre-disposed and fully determined by individual differences and biological traits. In short, terms, what drives people towards crime is not a matter of free-will. The positivist crime theorist and criminal anthropologist Cesare Lombroso made attempts to scientifically prove his thesis that criminal offenders were physically different from  non-offenders. Lombroso stated that atavistic features are more akin to savages and criminal offenders. This view was held by many biological positivists. Positivist theory of crime presumed that scientific study of criminal behavior should find the"causes" of such behavior. They also believed that the causes of crime are beyond the control of the individual. Explanations of positivist theory were deterministic. Lombroso was influenced by Darwinian principles of evolution and used these ideas to support a thesis on inferiority of criminals. Positivist theory of crime implemented the idea of social Darwinism that individuals or groups develop certain physical and psychological attributes, which allow them to function more efficiently in the social and natural environment. We can object to positivist theories of crime that the theories never accepted the idea about the equality of gender roles. Lombroso thought that males were more lenient to a crime, because they were more masculine that females in general. Italian historian Renzo Villa thought that Lombroso's attempt to identify signs of criminality using biological traits are an inevitable result and part of the contextual development of nineteenth-century penal science and medicine. The positivist theory of crime understanding  was limited on the external appearance or phenotype properties as the way to identify the physical characteristics, which were present in criminal approach of phrenology.

In 1982, the broken windows theory was introduced by sociologists James Wilson and George Kelling. The broken windows theory is a subject of debate even today, and many criminology theorists have criticized this theory. Several empirical studies have confirmed the validity of broken windows theory, but it has received even larger critics. Critics of broken windows theory think that the theory is a fallacy and that it borders with causality. The theory states that if a building has few broken windows, and the windows aren’t repaired this will create a tendency for vandals to break more windows. Vandals will enter the building and they will continue destroying the building. Many theorists consider the experiment as the best confirmation of the broken windows theory. In the education system, the broken windows theory is often used to promote order in classrooms. It is also used as a motivation for criminal policy reforms. Theory takes a proactive stance towards criminality, i.e. it is best to prevent than to heal. Although, criminologists argue about causality, practical approach of theory is pointed on the reduction of crime. The broken windows theory makes two major claims, i.e. that further petty crime and low-level anti-social behavior will be deterred, and that major crime will be prevented. According to the theory, monitoring and maintaining urban environments in a well-ordered condition may prevent further vandalism as well as an escalation into more serious crime. Furthermore, broken windows theory suggests that a particular sequence of events could be expected in deteriorating neighborhoods and that an evidence of decay broken windows, accumulated trash, deteriorated building exteriors, which remains in the neighborhood for a reasonably long period of time causes people who live and work in the area to feel more vulnerable and to begin to withdraw. Theory can be applied on many areas of urban and rural development. Previous criminological studies, which  have researched "slums" came to the similar conclusion that the deterioration of necessary communal infrastructure and squalor will result with a drastic increase of insecurity and crime.

Exemplar Gratia, certain buildings will be more often subject to burglary than other buildings, especially when the building has unprotected and concealed entrances. There are various methods to protect the building from burglary, and it is commonly done by using various detectors such as dual technology, motion detectors or by using security doors and security windows with a protective layer. The causation aspect of this example is explained by a situational crime prevention theory.

Classical crime theory is represented by the theoretical study of Jeremy Bentham and Cesare Beccaria. Jeremy Bentham  was a founder of  English utilitarianism. Bentham thought that human beings are hedonistic and act only in their own self-interest. Utilitarianism also considered rational courses of action when people pursue own interests. Utilitarian teachings are an important part of  criminal-justice  ethics today. Neoclassical crime theory is a continuation of classical crime theory tradition. Development of neoclassical crime theory will continue in 1980 with a forming of new sociological theories, i.e. differential association and identification. Although sources that mention neoclassical school and crime theory of criminology are merely sparce, it main contribution to the field of criminology is reflected through the understanding of individual differences of the perpetrators. While classical school was wholly concern with an explanation of crime, neoclassical crime theory saw some flaws in Beccaria's theory of crime. Classical crime theory completely concentrated on the criminal act and positivist crime theory concentrated on the perpetrator. Positivist were obsessed with behavioral prediction and classicist with a crime explanation. Neoclassical crime theory sought to improve the stances towards perpetrators who should have an impact on the level of guilt and severity of punishment. Not all perpetrators should be treated in the same fashion, because the evident differences exist among them. Crime is a result of many conditions that have ultimately influenced on the perpetrators to commit it. Representative of neoclassical criminology theory, Gabriel Tarde published the book "Penal philosophy" in 1890. Gabriel Tarde was a French sociologist and founder of neoclassical criminology school. In his book Tarde criticizes classical and positivist criminology and takes the best from both criminology. Neoclassical criminology theory considers  age, gender and social class of the perpetrators. The perpetrators are people who think, feel, act and criminal behavior is learned within groups by imitation and identification.

Criminology recognizes three groups of theories, which attempted to explain crime causation. Crime was explained by biological, sociological and psychological theories. Three different types of criminological theories attempted to answer what is causing of crimes. Each criminological theory tried to establish its high level of credibility and reliability. Classical theory was first established as a part of modern criminology, but turning points for development of scientific method in criminology began in 19th century soon as criminology pioneers implemented them in the etiological research of crime. Furthermore, at that point it became possible to study criminology in the scientific manner, although concepts that involved crime causation and foundation of modern criminology began with a critical and rational approach of classical criminology. Identifying the cause of crime from the theory standpoint became a specific and major task of criminology.Classical criminologists believed that criminal behavior is best represented by a free will and their theory views on criminality were purely philosophical. Positivists sometimes called Italian school of criminology, because its major representatives were Italian national, emphasized the collection and analysis of data on the biological and social causes of criminal behavior.Ferry proposed a classification of criminal types, which included the born or instinctive criminal, the insane criminal, the passionate criminal, the involuntary criminal, the occasional criminal, and the habitual criminal. The occasional and habitual aren’t innate criminals, but the products of unfortunate family or societal circumstances. According to Ferry, the true criminal is one who lacks basic altruistic sentiment of honesty and pity.  Ferry used both sociological and biological factors to explain a cause of crime. Rafael Garofalo contribution to criminology was that he found that certain forms of criminal behavior might be encouraged by social and environmental circumstances, and this set a path for numerous experiments and scientific expertise on the way to define crime causation.

Psychological theories of crime came to the existence around 1913, and their primary concern was to find a supporting link between crime and  low intelligence. Furthermore, psychological researches found  the difference of 8 points in IQ scores between delinquents and non-delinquents. Besides IQ testing in criminal psychology, other researchers dealt with personality disorders i.e. Robert Hare made an extensive research of psychopaths, sociopaths and antisocial personalities. Hare identified the mechanism and made a classification of psychopaths.

Social theories of crime

The evolution of sociological theories of crime began in 19th century and continued today.Social theories of crime researched cultural and social factors that lead to criminal behavior. Structural theoretical approach stated that certain groups within a society have less opportunities to achieve the goals most valued by a society. Society demands that people should reach social respectable goals, but acceptable methods are hard are hard to comply and goals are often unreachable in the such way.  Because the opportunities are not the same for all, the society is contributing to crime. Other social theories like subcultural theories of crime have researched the discrepancy between social norms and systems of value and the norms and values of a specific subcultural group. Research of juvenile delinquency and youth gangs found that criminal behavior directed towards living up to values of delinquent subcultural group.Conflict theory states that society is based on conflict between competing social classes. Conflict theory came to the existence in 1960’s and is based on the perpetual conflict between powerless and powerful. Ecological criminology was developed in 1920’s at the University of Chicago.  Theorists of ecological criminology were called Chicago school of criminology. They claimed that crime is a result of disorganized eco-areas, but have disregarded personal traits of people who live in those eco-areas. Multi factor criminology theories of criminality are integration of societal, psychological and biological/biosocial theoretical approaches to defining crime causation. Criminology multiple factor theory began its development as an interdisciplinary study to integrate valid elements of theories in a single "corpus" of crime explanations.

Biological theories of crime  made the common assumptions that physical traits can lead an individual to criminal activities. Generally speaking, it was thought that physical attributes were passed down from parent to child. It was thought that the risk of committing of crimes also passed down from parents. The early biological theories of crime were focused mainly on heredity of crime, and made rather quick assumptions about the research findings.

Biological theories of crime causation

In 1879 psychology was established as a scientific discipline. Psychology emerged at a same time as criminology. The father of psychology was a German psychologist Wilhelm Wundt. Scientific methodologies, which were implemented in biological theories had many flaws, and the task was given to psychology to explain criminal behavior Theories to explain criminal behavior existed throughout history, but what is different about is that psychological theories include research of cognitive thinking or decision making processes that could explain why people choose to break a law in a particular situation. In general terms, psychologists are committed to the scientific study of human behavior, with its emphasis on hypotheses that can be tested using empirical and quantitative data in well controlled experiments and making systematic observation of experimental variables how they effect on the outcome of the experiment. Psychology has been significant to understanding criminal responsibility for many decades. It offers several different explanations, reasons and motives of crime, which are behind the criminal actions. In order to make any definitive conclusion on any theories it is required to analyze them and their contribution in criminology.

In psychology, there are two areas of research: behavior observation and behavior prediction. Psychological theories of delinquency sought abnormalities in behavior or  personality of criminals.
The term psychology was coined by Marko Marulic (father of Croatian literature) in his work "Psichiologia de ratione anime humanae" (1510-1517).

Personality theories of delinquency

Psychoanalytical theory developed by Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) stated that human personality has three psychic structures: id, ego and super ego. Id is an instance of personality who pursues instant needs without any thought and analysis. Ego is the instance which is a result of education and socialization, while super ego psychic instance is a container of all messages received from parents. Therefore, crime is a result of Id's prevalence over superego.
Although crime theory was only partially mentioned in a Freud's theory, psychoanalytical theory became the popular explanation of crime, especially when motives of  delinquent behavior couldn't be explained.

"Some people cannot be bought by gold or jewels. They just want to see the world burn."

Instinctive theories of delinquency

According to Freud, there are two instincts: eros and thanatos. Eros is a desire to live, while thanatos is a desire to die. Constant struggle exists between eros and thanatos. Aggressiveness must be blown out through sport or physical exercise, because if not it could result with inadequate social behavior like violence or suicide. Individuals are often balancing between eros and thanatos.

Eysenck's theory of crime: Extroversion and introversion

Eysenck claimed that the hedonistic tendency to commit crimes is controlled by the conscience. He also spoke about introversion and extroversion. Introverted persons are sensitive and can't take the limited number of  stimulus, while extroverted persons enjoy in a large number of stimulus and do not to be bored. According to Eysenck, criminality is a natural and normal choice with whom the people enhance pleasure or reduce pain. Reactions on some behavior are punishments or rewards. Extroverted persons aren't able to learn from experience.
Other psychological theories of the crime deal with mental disorders, psychopathy, self induced mental incapacity (alcoholism and drug addiction) and influence of public media on the crime. Today, personality test are able to provide a great insight about someones predisposition towards delinquency by examining the potential conflicts, which exist in someones personality.

Research of iq relation to crime

Crime and sugar

Biochemical theories claim that there is a causal connection between blood sugar levels, anti-social behavior and delinquency. Theories are mostly represented in the field of juvenile delinquency and presume that poor nutrition affects delinquent behavior. Poor nutrition directly affects the learning process. However, the causal connection between delinquency and candies isn't direct. Excessively low levels of blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can cause the development of negative behavior, nervous behavior, mental confusion, physical weakness, delirium and violence. Excessive consumption of alcohol can cause hypoglycemia and increase aggressive behavior.

Cholesterol and crime

Clinical trials made found a relation between low cholesterol and aggressive behavior in animals. The study conducted in Sweden on 79,777 men and women at age (24-70), who had police arrest records for violent crimes, found a strong connection between lowered levels of cholesterol and violent behavior. Measurements of cholesterol levels of violent offenders were compared with measurement records of non-offenders based on gender, age, type of offender (sexual or violent), alcohol consumption and enrollment year.
Low levels of cholesterol are associated with persons who have difficulties with internalization of social norms and have the tendency to be irresponsible. Low cholesterol levels can cause hypoglycemia.

Vitamins and crime

Vitamins and minerals are very important in a regular diet. Disruption of homeostasis can cause difficulties. Theory states that low intake of vitamins, and minerals can cause delinquent behavior.

In theory, the difference between observed objects can be small, very small, big or very big. In our every day life, we see such differences, but in order to become a hypothesis, the difference between observed phenomenons must be statistically significant. Even small difference can be statistically significant. Statistically significant difference means that the difference between observed objects isn't accidental.
In this case, the statistically significant difference between observed phenomenons exists, but the causality mechanism still isn’t clear. Exempli gratia 96% of a smoker dies from lung cancer, but 15% of a non-smoker also dies from lung cancer. In statistics this phenomenon is known as Fisher's third variable. In concordance with Fisher's third variable theory, violent people just might have a more chance to behave aggressively, than non-delinquents, because of  the unknown third factors.

The biochemical and neurological theories of crime researched the influence of neurotransmitters or hormones, processes of  the CNS and ANS on the criminal behavior. These types of theories take into consideration some influences of social factors. However, neurological and biochemical theories still focus on the biological aspect of crime causation. 

 Lombroso's view on crime

Strength of the university is measured by the number of recognized academics.

This rating of universities is based on the number of graduate students who have won the Nobel prize for accomplishment in economics, medicine or physiology, chemistry, physics, literature and peace.

University of California - Berkley has produced the highest number of Nobel's laureates in chemistry, while Chicago University has the highest number of Nobel's laureates in physics.

John Hopkins University has the highest number of Nobel's prize winners in medicine and physiology, while Harvard and Chicago University have the highest number of Nobel's laureates in economics.


Number of
Nobel's prize winners
Nobel's prize for
Nobel's prize
Medicine and Physiology
Nobel's prize
Nobel's prize
Nobel's prize
Nobel's prize for














































The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) in 2010 rates:
Harvard  University  No. 1  
University of California, Berkley No. 2
Columbia University No. 8
Chicago University No. 9
John Hopkins University No. 3. in Medicine and Pharmacy

The only criminologist who has won the Nobel's prize is Garry Stanley Becker. Becker was awarded with Nobel's prize for economy in 1992. He graduated from Princeton University in 1951.

Top Five accredited online degrees in Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice Online Degree Programs in America the lowest cost of distance learning

Bellow listed University programs are affordable from a perspective of income. In the recession, the value of degrees has significantly dropped. The degree doesn't necessary mean getting a job for sure. Those who express the wish to upgrade their academic knowledge, have a job and sustainable income will certainly be interested to explore and employ criminal justice knowledge in their branch as a way to sustain their job position.Worldwide employment trends show an increase of need for experts in medical, accounting and health care professions. Because the governments do not expand, have large deficits, have imposed the cuts and austerity measures, it is very unlikely that there will be a demand for specialists in criminal justice in the period of 10 years. However, the rapid development of new types of computer crimes will certainly require an attention of experienced criminologists and IT specialists as cyber detectives.

Criminology jobs are generally for those who have obtained bachelors, masters or PhD degrees in the area of criminology or criminal justice. Criminologists in general terms are an analysts, and criminological education usually attracts people who have well developed analytical, cognitive, logical, practical, systematical and creative skills. Sometimes criminology jobs require experts of different education profile and working background to work for law enforcement. Having a degree in criminology or criminal justice doesn't necessary mean that the person will work automatically in criminal justice system agencies. Although the education is specific, implementation of skills and knowledge's gained trough criminological education can be various, and criminology college freshman can find even better job opportunities in the private sector.

Top Five universities in America

Job opportunities for criminologists can be found in more than 10 job profession areas:

Private sector

1. Security agencies

2. Consulting companies (security consulting)

3. Insurance companies ( insurance swindle investigation)

4. Banks (surveillance systems, internal control unit)

5. Other organizations

Private sector employers usually hire experienced professional who have at least 3-7 years of working experience in criminal justice system. They rarely take trainees.

Government and local governments

1. Police agencies

2. Courts

3. Correctional institutions

4. Military

5. Other governments and local government organizations

University, program
Location, Contact Info
$ 7,000
Fort Hays State University,

Master of Liberal Studies/Criminal Justice
Fort Hays State University
Hays, Kansas 67601
(785) 628-5578
United States
$ 10,000
  American Public University,

Master of Arts in Criminal Justice
Charles Town, West Virginia,
111 W Congress St,

New Mexico State University,

Master of Science Criminal Justice

Las Cruces, New Mexico 88003
            United States
Troy University e-Campus,
Master of Science in Criminal Justice
601 University Avenue, Troy,  334-670-0195
United States of America
  3 -
University of Central Missouri,
Master of Science
306 Broad Street, Warrensburg,
United States of America

In its beginnings, there was an attempt to develop valid and relevant theories of crime causation as well as to find answers how to control or prevent crime. Early theorists have only partially explored the issues concerning criminality. Crime on the theoretical level was an explored trough a personal perception and sometimes using empirical knowledge about crime.
Throughout history, two distinctive questions were the precursors for historical development of criminology. First question was: How to prevent and deal with crime? With  a development of organized society in early Babylonia, laws like Codex Hammurabi had regulated behaviors and proscribed appropriate punishments for such deviant behaviors. Codex Hammurabi has made differences between social classes of perpetrators in the appliance of punishments.

At that time, there were four types of punishments:
1. Exile
2. Death penalty
3. Compensation
4. Slavery

In medieval Europe at 13th century, the development of legal sciences has brought significant progress in phrasing legal norms. The development of criminal law began it diverse development around 1530s when some rulers of the European states began to issue own criminal codes ( Constitutio Criminalis Carolina (1532), Constitutio Criminalis Bambargensis (1509) and other criminal codes). The goal of these criminal codes was to reduce cases when local criminal codes haven't regulated some undesirable behaviors. The European Criminal  Law was mostly particular, while the universal codes of rulers have been the subsidiary and secondary source for application of law. Criminal law in general terms were at that time unified source where the norms have regulated description of crimes, determined sanctions for crimes and the Criminal Court procedures. Division of the criminal law in general terms began in 17th century. The word "constitutio" derives from Latin, and it means a rulers decision, proclamation or edict. The word "constitutio" today signifies the decision of executive branch, which by its legal power is equal to the laws, but limited on the time period of one year.
European Criminal Law has continued its development trough 17th and 18th century. The most known criminal codes of that time were: Constitution Criminalis Leopoldina, Constitutio Criminalis Josephina, Constitutio Criminalis Theresiana and Code de Napoleon which applied until 1992 in France.
Second question was: What is the cause of crime? The cause of crime is mostly explained religiously as an act of evil influence. With a development of philosophy, philosophers like Plato and Aristotle have seen possible explanations of crime in socio-economic status. The religious explanations of crime causality have remained the prevailing explanation of crime until 1700s. The emergence of classical criminology as a first school of modern criminology brought first serious attempts to philosophically and logically explain causes of crime. However, the philosophical explanations of crime causality were too general. At that time, the foundations have been placed for sociology to create specific theories. Positivist criminology has focused its research interest on the criminal in an attempt to measure criminality in some way, and that changed the views on the criminality in a way that no longer was relevant only to create theoretical models, but also to process data of scientific measurements. Although the lack of understanding of experimental variables and causality in the experiment, brought characters like Lombroso to insist on their thesis. It will take a lot of time for scientists to find flaws of their thesis and conclusions, but with development of experimental methodology chances to make mistakes  have been reduced significantly.

Cesare Lombroso (1835-1909) was an Italian psychiatrist and military medical doctor who  developed theories about the criminals. His theories are no longer valid today. Only credit which can be given to Lombroso is that he was the pioneer in inducement of scientific methods to criminology. Although anthropometric measurements were correct, the causal connection between human physical traits and criminality was deceptive. Sometimes scientists spend their whole career proving their hypotheses. Similar things happen in every area of human social activity. Development and understanding of scientific methods made possible to prove flaws of many studies in criminology and other sciences.

Classical criminology: Beccaria's views of crime

Lombroso developed the theory about "born criminal". In 3000 anthropometric measurements he found some biological traits of criminals.

Biological traits of born criminal are:

-    unusual size or shape of the head,

-    strange eyes,

-    facial asymmetry,

-    extended jaw and jaw bone,

-    too big or too small ears,

-    full lips leaned forward,

-    abnormal teeths,

-    wrinkled skin,

-    nose curled up; thieves have a flat nose and murderers have a beak nose,

-    too long, too small or flat chin,

-    dark skin and

-    too long arms.

According to Lombroso,  persons who have five or more biological traits are born criminals. Beside physical traits Lombroso introduces some other traits of born criminal:

1)    hypersensitivity to pain and touch,

2)    use of special criminal slang,

3)    grotesque expression of thoughts,

4)    tattoos and

5)    unemployment.

Lombroso later changes the theory of born criminal and develops a new theory. Classification of criminals is made into three categories:

1)    born criminals (30% of all criminals),

2)    abnormal criminals (idiots, imbeciles, paranoids, melancholics, paralytics, epileptics, demented persons,  alcoholics and hysterics)

3)    occasional criminals

      a) criminaloids

      b) pseudo criminals

      c) criminals out of habit

Criminaloids had difficulties during their childhood and can occasionally behave delinquently. Pseudo criminals are insane persons and those who committed crime in self defense. Habitual criminals had a poor education during their childhood or have been in social interaction with criminals.

Further studies of Lombroso's thesis were made by Goring in 1913 and Hooton in 1939.

Goring contests Lombroso's thesis based on the experiment he made on 3000 criminals and non-criminals. Goring didn't find any physical abnormalities or traits on criminals. He criticized Lombroso on the issue of born criminal and found that such thesis is inaccurate as well as dangerous. Goring concluded that no one is criminal until he or she commits a crime.

Hooton confirms Lombroso's thesis based on the research he made on 14000 criminals and 3000 non-criminals from 10 Federal states of U.S.

Lombroso's theory was popular in his time, but it was later debunked. Some ideas fall out of favor in science as well as in politics with time. Lombroso's views on crime are still present today in the form of stereotypes on some minority groups. Furthermore, research conducted on police sub cultural behavior shows that police officers have similar stereotypes on particular racial groups.

Criminology theories of crime: Overview of criminology theoretical schools of thought