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Columbia Law School

2003

Law Enforcement and Corrections

University of Chicago Law Review

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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Shaping Of Chance: Actuarial Models And Criminal Profiling At The Turn Of The Twenty-First Century, Bernard Harcourt Jan 2003

The Shaping Of Chance: Actuarial Models And Criminal Profiling At The Turn Of The Twenty-First Century, Bernard Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

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 ...