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Biological Criminality and New Criminal Thought

Week 9 Worksheet

1. In Willrich’s article, he uses a quote from a chief justice from the Municipal Court of Chicago. This sums up the belief of eugenics. How does this belief in Eugenics different than what we studied in the classical period (Think John Locke and Beccaria).

2. Willrich argues that eugenics led to a reform in the criminal justice system that he calls “eugenic jurisprudence.” Explain what this is and what institutions he points to as a symptom of this eugenic jurisprudence.

3. If you had to explain Lombroso to someone who does not study crime (or who had not taken this class) what would you say to them? (Give at least 3 points).

4. Give three (3) examples that Lombroso cites as the reasons for the increased homicide (crime) rate in the United States. How does his racial and ethnic prejudices shape his beliefs?

Week 10 Worksheet

1. Gina Lombroso-Ferrero (who represents the Modern or Positive school) gives credit to Beccaria but points out that she believes in something quite different. According to her, what mistake(s) does Beccaria (and other Classical thinkers) make about the understanding of the criminal?

2. Looking at Jacob Riis’s How the Other Half Lives, do you think he believes the Lombroso-Ferrero and others in the Modern or Positive school? Why or why not?

3. How did tenements foster crime, according to Riis? Give specific examples.

4. In Chapter 15 (XV), which is pg. 201 in the electronic version, Riis tells the plight of children. Why does Riis place so much emphasis on the children in tenements and poverty? How does his belief reflect his ideas of crime and criminals?

5. Look at the photographs in Riis’s book. While some were staged by Riis, what do these photos have in common? Why were they so powerful in changing people’s minds about crime and poverty.

Last Updated on October 31, 2021

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