Discuss the issues listed below:
1. Our course textbook on page 375 discusses the topic of “enlightenment” and the belief of dignity and worth of all individuals. Is that where are are today?
2. Do we feel empathy for those whom we view as being like us?
3. How are we doing today with the goal of rehabilitation, allegedly ushered in thanks to the Great Depression?
Cite your sources. For the discussion board, you do not have to write in a “formal” manner, but you do need to use proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation. This ensures your classmates can discern the content of your posting.
Minuimum of 200 words.
apparently successful (Sherman, 2005).
1 set forth
for the poor (free
and campaigned for alternative
his suggestions were implemented and were
THE EMERGENCE OF
THE CLASSICAL SCHOOL
Enlightenment ideas led to a school of penology known as the classical school. More
than a decade after Fielding’s book, the Italian philosopher and politician Cesare
Beccaria (1738-1794) published a manifesto for the reform of European judicial
and penal systems titled On Crimes and Punishment (1764/1963). Beccaria did not
question the need for punishment but believed that laws should be designed to
preserve public order, not to avenge crime. Punishment should be proportionate to
the harm done to society, should be identical for identical crimes, and should be
applied without reference to the social status of offenders or victims. Punishment
must be certain and swift to make a lasting impression on the criminal and to
deter others. To ensure a rational and fair penal structure, punishments for specific
crimes must be decreed by written criminal codes and the discretionary powers of
Beccaria’s work was so influential that many of his reforms were implemented
in a number of European countries within his lifetime (Durant & Durant, 1967,
p. 321). His reform ideas tapped into and broadened the scope of such emo-
tions as sympathy and empathy among the intellectual elite of Europe. Alexis de
Tocqueville (1838/1956, Book III, Chapter 1) noticed the diffusion of these emo-
tions across the social classes, beginning in the Enlightenment with the spreading
of egalitarian attitudes, and attributed the “mildnessÃ¢â‚¬Â of the American criminal
justice system to the country’s democratic spirit. We tend to feel empathy for those
whom we view as being like us, and empathy often leads to sympathy, which may
translate the vicarious experience of the pains of others into active concern for
Part V. Corrections
(Walsh & Hemmens, 2007),
their welfare. With cognition and emotion blended into the Enlightenment ideal
of the basic unity of humanity, justice became both more refined and more diffuse
Another prominent figure was the British lawyer and philosopher Jeremy
Bentham (1748-1832). His major work, Principles of Morals and Legislation
(1789/1948), is essentially a philosophy of social control based on the principle
of utility, which prescribes the greatest happiness for the greatest number.” The
proper function of the legislature is to promulgate laws aimed at maximizing the
pleasure and minimizing the pain of the largest number in society. If legislators are
to legislate according to this principle, they must understand human motivation,
which for Bentham (1948) was easily summed up: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Nature has placed mankind
under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. It is for them
alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall doÃ¢â‚¬Â
(p. 125). This was the Enlightenment concept of human nature: hedonistic, ratio-
nal, and endowed with free will. Classical explanation of criminal behavior and
how to prevent it are derived from these three assumptions.
Bentham devoted a great deal of energy (and his own money) to arguing for
the development of prisons as substitutes for torture, execution, or transpor-
tation. He designed a prison in the 1790s called the panopticon (Ã¢â‚¬Å“all-seeingÃ¢â‚¬Â),
which was to be a circular “inspection houseÃ¢â‚¬Â enabling guards to constantly
see their charges, thus requiring fewer staff. Because prisoners could always be
seen without seeing by whom or when they were being watched, the belief was
that the perception of constant scrutiny would develop into self-monitoring.
Bentham felt that prisoners could be put to useful work to acquire the habit of
THE EMERGENCE OF POSITIVISM
Classical thinkers were armchair philosophers, whereas positivist thinkers took
pon themselves the methods of empirical science fro
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