By C. J. Oakes
Crime, justice, and law are as old as mankind. Prior to 1829 when Sir Robert Peel convinced the English Parliament to permit him to create the London Metropolitan Police, soldiers were used to arrest and punish those guilty of breaking the laws determined either by the King/Emperor, the ruling parties, or the people. In some periods, those guilty of breaking laws were either punished with death, dungeons, or fines.
In fact, the earliest law code known to man, the Code of Hammurabi of Babylon, listed numerous laws and punishments according to the severity and the rightness, or justice of the crime. For instance, the concept of an eye for an eye appears to have originated with this Code for a son striking his father was to have his hand cut off (or at least some fingers) and law 196 specifically spells out that if one man puts out the eye of another, his should be removed. Thus, the philosophy of justice as it is tied to crime and law, is ancient.
The foundation of law has always been justice, but what exactly entails justice has altered from age to age and from one society to the next. About the only common feature of justice is the notion that some actions on the part of people are right and some are wrong. Thus, every society has grappled with justice because not everyone can agree on the simple idea of right and wrong acts.
The Rise of Justice Philosophy
During the Enlightenment period, there were numerous philosophers who put forth ideas regardingl crime control and criminal behavior according to scientific endeavor, rather than according to chance, or so-called, common sense approaches. Theories were proposed by persons such as Caesar Beccaria and Jeremy Bentham that suggested both the causes of crime as well as the most effective means of punishing crime for the betterment of society as a whole.
In the Philosophy section of CriminalJusticeLaw.org we present arguments of a scholarly nature. We explore Criminal Justice theory alongside theories about human behavior found in Psychology. We believe that only through a joint understanding between the social sciences can we achieve justice in society. Thus, we take an inter-disciplinary approach.
We believe you will find the following essays interesting and useful…
Since the Enlightenment period, theories of the cause of crime have abounded, yet ironically, the more we learn the less we seem to apply.
The Science of Human Behavior and Modern Attitudes
It seems that science and philosophy, at least when it comes to human behavior, is relegated to the catacombs. Society, led by politicians and irrationality, seems to prefer the ancient ways. This is ironic considering all that a scientific understanding of the natural world has bestowed upon modern man.
Science has given us this wonderful invention, the Internet, through which we can learn in ways never before imagined by humans. Science has given us the amazing ability to build robots to make life easier by cutting manufacturing costs immensely. Science has permitted us to explore the Solar System and place satellites in orbit for many practical uses. And science has allowed us to cure and nearly eradicate most of the childhood diseases that once stopped the lives of more than half of all children born before the age of five. Yet, when it comes to the use of science to solve our social ills, such as crime and punishment, economic destruction, and legal justice, we tend to turn away, preferring instead ancient rites and rituals now known to be ineffective.
Part of the blame can fall squarely on politicians, who in both ignorance and willful deceit use criminal justice and law as tools with which to maintain their own power and station. And part of the blame rests with society for allowing these to fool them into believing in the ancient ways, now disproved by empirical evidence. And part of the blame rests on the academic community for not engaging both more strongly.
It is my hope, that by reading not only the theories and philosophies of those who have sought to find a better way of structuring law, justice, and society we can all come to a better understanding of the workings of crime and criminal justice. It is my hope to reach enough people with the truth as science dictates and studies demonstrate that eventually, the lies and myths propounded by unsavory politicians will finally fail to find willing ears.
Is it Better to Inspire or Discover?
It is also my hope to inspire others to dig further into the workings of human nature. Years ago, my plan was to continue my education and receive at least a Master’s in Criminology. Unfortunately, that has been set aside becuse of a lack of time.
I developed a theory years ago regarding human and criminal behavior and have honed it over the years. I have even developed the method by which my theory can be tested, but lack the resources and credentials to carry out the research. Alas, I have but a BS and make my living as a writer.
Because it is good to both Inspire and Discover, we will be adding the following pages to this section of CriminalJusticeLaw.org
- Differential Association Theory
- Labeling Theory
- Rational Choice Theory
- Restorative justice
- Retributive justice
- Social Control Theory
- Social Disorganization Theory
- Social Learning Theory
- Strain Theory
- Subcultural Theory
- Symbolic Interactionism
- Transformative justice
I had hoped to discover the facts myself, but perhaps another will read my theory and inspired, take up the mantle, determining if is correct and if so, changing the world for another generation, hopefully that of my child. It is a worthy ideal I believe, as are all the ideals by philosophers before me.
In any case, we must never forget that all advances in any science started with the ideas of someone. Philosophers are just as needed today as in times past, though many who enter the field, enter the general Philosophy category. This is not the best way to help humanity and the criminal justice field/system. Rather, if you can and have such an interest, get at least a Master’s Degree in Criminology. You will then move into teaching on a University level and more importantly, be in a position to hypothesize about the reasons for various issues we face as a global and national society in relation to crime and criminal justice.
One good place to start if this is an interest for you is by clicking on the banner below. This is a program designed just to help you determine the best Masters Degree Program for you. There is no cost and no obligation. Just great information to help you advance in your career if you wish. I did so myself and have chosen a program, which I will be starting soon (Yippee!). Check it out now and maybe one day we will work together in reasearch.
The articles presented in the following segment of pages are devoted to these philosophical ideals. If you have an interest in human behavior, in particular aberrant (criminal) behavior, you will enjoy reading the following article…