Discuss/debate with your classmates about the early history of the criminal theory and its application to crime control i.e., Positivist School vs. Classical School, plus gender, class, and race as they relate to crime. Also, discuss if racial profiling is justifiable? Ever? If the answer is yes, discuss how effective the profiling must be to remain justified? If the answer is no, do the events of 9/11 suggest a justification for other forms of ethnic profiling.
After reading about classical criminology, I would relate it to parenting a six year old and below child. For the most part they will stop or not do something that the parent perceives as wrong if they believe that it will result in some sort of punishment that they do not like. Though this analogy only explains classical so far since it would not apply to the race gender or class standing or said child since, for the most part everything is given to the child. With that being said this type of thinking failed to take into account the personal circumstances that might influence criminal behavior (Act for Libraries, 2016). The positivist school of thought is different in that in went away from the classical way of thinking and applied people’s circumstances and their environment as well as many other factors. This school of thought was developed by Cesare Lombroso who wrote how environmental factors played roles in criminal behavior. This made me think of a theory called the broken windows theory. This theory is based on the idea that when there are visible signs of disorder and misbehavior that it will only encourage more disorder and misbehavior (Psychology Today, 2021). It is a simple concept and if you have worked in law enforcement you can apply this theory to a lot of things that you might have experienced. Is racial profiling ever justifiable? I say no, but there are other things to look for. While in the Marines I attended a course called the hunter tracking course and later in the Army I went to another course very similar call advanced situational awareness. Both courses focused a lot on kinesics which is the study of body langue. Though with this it takes a lot of practice and to able to accurately describe in terms that make sense to others what your reasonable suspicion is based off these methods if they were to be used. Another issue with using this method are not everyone was raised the same and in different cultures have different types of body langue. For example, if you grew up in the south you might have heard to look another man in the eye while you are talking with them. Though in most Muslim culture this can be taken as a sign of disrespect. It is a lose way to conduct policing and I would not use it as my reasonable suspicion, but it can be used for yourself to just keep an eye on someone who might be portraying cues that are associated with crime.
Both methods has their own effects when coming up with a solution to handling crime. Although both methods have their own tactics of handling an individual, they both differentiate on the result of their methods. Depending on the classes used to stop crime will result in how they effect the individual who committed the crime as well as everyone else who didn’t commit the crime. This will effect the people’s perception towards those who enforce the law. The Classical method of handling crime was handled in a way that the punishment fits the crime. The more serious or horrific the crime, the worse the punishment. For example: If an individual takes a life of another, then their life will be taken as well. Although it may seem fair and reasonable, but this method actually struck fear into civilians making crime less likely to take place. In my opinion, although this method was cruel, it was quite effective. While policing, your goal is to decrease crime rates as well as giving fair judgment. Although this method has reached both requirements while maintaining the law, this method has an unagreeable result. While maintaining the law, this method is ruling over their citizens with an iron fist. There’s no sign of showing reasoning with the individual as well as understanding as to why the suspect chose to commit the crime. For example: Picture yourself in your own home then suddenly someone is armed and decided to break into your own. Now right at this very moment you’re currently in a life or death situation. With no hesitation you defend yourself by eliminating the suspect. At this very moment you’re the only one who knows the true story as to what happened during the break in from start to finish. Now let’s say someone saw you with blood clothing and immediately assumed that you murdered someone and with no hesitation reports you to the police. Mind you, we’re still using the classical method. While finding out that you’ve been reported you try to explain your case, but all they see is you in blood clothing and a body in your house on the floor. What I’m getting at in this scenario is that the classical method doesn’t always take the time to gather information on what really happened to give a fair punishment. The Positivist method of handling crime was handled by actually understanding the individual and understanding why the individual committed the crime. This method prompted the concept of developing ways to treat the criminals in terms of not only preventing the escalation of crime, but understanding the criminal mind in an attempt to help reform or rehabilitate the criminal as well as work towards educating the public sector. This method is mostly focused on letting the punishment fit the criminal. Although this method of handling crime has a more calm and reasonable understanding, this method still gives fair punishment towards the individual. This method first gathers information about the crime as well as why the crime was committed before coming up with a punishment. I personally agree with this method as well as prefer this method of handling crime over the classical method due to the fact that this method would rather understand the individual than to assume the case and find out they were wrong later. While understanding the point of view of the criminal, this will also educate law enforcers on the minds of others, like their background and as to why it has negatively impacted the individual. While understanding why it would negatively effect the individual, you could also infer the final outcome. Even though this method shows signs of understanding, this method could possibly increase crime and I say this because people could take advantage of people who shows signs of understanding, especially trying to get away with crime by making false excuses.