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Classical vs. Positivist Criminology: Insights and Ethical Dilemmas

Criminology has long been a subject of great interest to scholars, theorists, and practitioners alike. It has provided us with insights into criminal behavior and the best means of dealing with criminals. In this blog post, I will delve into two prominent schools of criminological theory: the Classical and Positivist schools, exploring their similarities, differences, and the way they influence the current legal systems in the US.

Classical vs. Positivist Schools of Criminology

Classical School: Rooted in the belief that people have free will and choose to commit crimes, the classical school sees deterrence as the primary way to stop crimes. This idea shapes policies such as mandatory sentencing and incapacitation policies like the three strikes law in the US.

Positivist School: Unlike the classical school, the positivist approach focuses on factors affecting human behavior and rejects the free will theory. Instead of punishment, it emphasizes physiology and medical treatment. It’s reflected in rehabilitation programs, diversion, and probation.

Despite their differences, both schools believe that crime can be controlled and criminals can be reformed.

Eugenics: An Ethical Dilemma

One of the areas that recently caught my attention is Eugenics in the United States. Though I was aware of similar practices in other countries, the concept of sterilizing individuals deemed “feebleminded” or “promiscuous” in the US was new to me.

The benefits from the Eugenics concept might include assessing and interpreting human biological makeup or understanding parents’ DNA compatibility. However, the ethical implications are vast.

A Survivor’s Story

The dark side of eugenics in the USA has many tragic stories. One of them is the story of a woman who was sterilized after giving birth to her only son, who grew up to be healthy and successful. You can find her story here.


The exploration of criminological theories and the controversial concept of Eugenics has broadened my understanding of how societies approach crime, punishment, and human biology. We must strive to apply these principles responsibly and ethically, learning from both the wisdom and the mistakes of the past. Whether in the realm of criminal justice or in the complex field of human genetics, a balanced and ethical approach is paramount.

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With a rich experience spanning over 5 years, I am a dedicated Private Investigator based in Mexico. My proficiency extends across multiple languages and various investigative disciplines, including asset tracing, fraud detection, and advanced surveillance. Specializing in combating money laundering, corruption, and fraud, I have an established history of successfully recovering stolen assets and ensuring criminals face justice.

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Fahad Hizam alHarbi, PI

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