|The Relationship between Criminology and Penal Reform in Germany, 1880-1930: Science versus Law?|
|My paper will examine the relationship between criminological research and penal reform in Modern Germany, from about 1880 to 1930. I will try to analyze this relationship in both directions by asking: what were the influences of criminological research on penal reform and vice versa? My central questions will be:
(1) At the outset: To what extent did Cesare Lombroso’s “criminal anthropology” and its critical reception influence the penal reform program developed by the so-called “modern school of criminal law” led by Franz von Liszt in the 1880s?
(2) How did the modern’s school’s penal reform program, which was focused on “social defense” and the individualization of punishment, in turn affect the direction of German criminological research? To what extent, for instance, did the penal reform agenda privilege biological over sociological explanations of crime? In what ways did criminological typologies of criminals reflect penal reformers’ classifications of offenders according to different purposes of punishment (deterrence, rehabilitation, incapacitation)? How did the introduction of the progressive system in some prisons affect criminological research?
(3) Did the results of criminological research affect the progress of German penal reform, and if so, how? To what extent did German criminal jurists come to accept that criminology should play a role in shaping penal policy and criminal trials – through “criminal-biological evaluations” of offenders, for instance? Did criminology’s focus on the role of mental abnormalities lead to a “medicalization” of penal reform and criminal justice?
This paper will form part of a comparative panel, comparing the relationship between criminology and penal reform in Italy, Britain, and Germany.