The Neoclassical School of Thought

Subject: Law
Pages: 2
Words: 289
Reading time:
< 1 min

The three primary qualities of effective punishment by Neoclassical Theory are swiftness, severity, and certainty. Modern justice system often fails with regards to these criteria. First of all, investigations and trials can take months or years, and thus the punishment is postponed. Secondly, the severity of the sentence is often not enough to deter criminal actions. Capital punishment is banned in most countries, and the conditions of life in prisons are improving, which means that people are not as scared of retribution as they could be. Thirdly, the certainty of punishment is affected by the possibility of parole, appeals, and guilty pleas, which can be used to reduce sentence or grant immunity to a criminal.

Thus, the modern justice system is not effective by the Neoclassical views and must be improved to deter and punish crime effectively. The focus of the Classical School of thought is on punishment, whereas the Neoclassical School offers a more comprehensive look on the criminal justice system. For instance, although both theories view crime as an individual choice, the Neoclassical School of thought produced routine activities and situational choice theories, which provide a better foundation for explaining and preventing crime.

An individual who supports the Classical school would argue for harsh punishments, and I would also argue for reduced trial times and the removal of rights to parole and appeals. I would also refuse to provide immunity or reduce sentences for criminals who cooperate with the law enforcement or plead guilty in order to improve the certainty of punishment, which is not of concern in the Classical School of thought.