Criminological Foundations

Criminological Foundations -

In semester one the case study that I presented is of burglary. The case includes two 18-year-old boys, Liam Cunliffe and Louis Corbett who burgled an 80-year-old woman’s house in Bristol, who then suffered from a stroke due to shock and passed away. The two boys received a short sentence; however after bragging about it over a networking site, Facebook, they then receive a longer sentence due to the lack of remorse they have for their actions. The purpose of this essay is to relate the case study with criminological studies, to do this the essay will look at classical theory, subcultural theory and labeling theory.

Classical theory is an approach to “the study of crime and criminality which is underpinned by the notion of rational action and free will” (Westmarland, 2006: 41). The main idea that classical theory endorses is that punishment should be seen as a deterrent. Deterrence assumes that people are rational and that they want the goods that committing a crime can provide, and weigh up the pros and cons of getting caught. In terms of the case study, the two boys weighed up the pros and cons and committed the crime as they burgled the house of an old, vulnerable lady; therefore the risk of getting caught is less than likelihood of getting away with the goods. An individual’s characteristics and mannerisms can determine whether an individual is deterred, this includes aspects such as their gender, social class and impulsivity. Males are more likely to be seen as deviant than females and in this case, the two boys were thrill seeking and took risks as they were not afraid of getting caught. Beccaria (1738-1794) applied social contract theory to crime, he argues that “the seriousness of the crime should be determined by the harm it inflicts on others.” (Beccaria cited by Newburn, 2007). He believes that punishments should be certain and that proportionate to the offence committed. The case study supports Beccaria’s theory as...