The Enlightenment Period

The Philosophes

What reforms did Cesare Beccaria advocate?

Cesare Beccaria (1738–1794) wrote On Crimes and Punishments (1764), which was influential against the idea that punishment serves retribution. He reasoned that the purpose of imprisonment was the protection of society and the reform of criminals. Beccaria’s book is believed to have been influential in the abolition of torture and maiming as routine criminal punishments by the mid-nineteenth century.


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