Columbia Center for Contemporary Critical Thought
The turn of the twentieth century marked a new era of individualization in the field of criminal law. Drawing on the new science of positivist criminology, legal scholars called for diagnosis of the causes of delinquence and for imposition of individualized courses of remedial treatment specifically adapted to these individual diagnoses. "[M]odern science recognizes that penal or remedial treatment cannot possibly be indiscriminate and machine-like, but must be adapted to the causes, and to the man as affected by those causes," leading criminal law scholars declared. "Thus the great truth of the present and the future, for criminal science, is the individualization of penal treatment, – for that man, and for the cause of that man's crime. The turn to individualized punishment gave rise to the rehabilitative project of the first three-quarters of the twentieth century – to discretionary juvenile courts, indeterminate sentencing, probation and parole, rehabilitative treatment, and the overarching concept of corrections.
The Shaping of Chance: Actuarial Models and Criminal Profiling at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century,
U. Chi. L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.columbia.edu/faculty_scholarship/644