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Upon his death, a new theory came into play and many people began to follow it. These people called themselves Darwinists and they believed that human beings were occasionally reverted, both physically and mentally to a pre human stage of development. This person was referred to as an atavistic criminal type. The focus on this certain archetype was to identify the type of criminal who should be put into prison permanently in order to protect society, even if that particular crime committed was a minor offense.On the other side, if someone who was not an atavistic type, it was considered to be a mistake, and therefore, imprisonment would serve no purpose to the non-atavistic person. Darwinian criminologists had the belief that the punishment must fit the criminal and not the crime. At the time, criminologists all agreed on this theory to explain criminals and crime and as a result, public opinion and official policy makers interest peaked. The criminal physical type is still a part of our world today even though the theory of atavists as a causative factor in criminals has ceased to exist.Darwin had a huge impact on the theory of anthropological criminology also referred to as criminal anthropology, which is a combination of the study of humans and criminals. His evolutionary theory shapes the world we live in today and explains the evolution of criminals thought processes as well as all the theories covered in criminology. Social Darwinism explains how characteristics which are observable were inheritable and explains how a trait may appear in one generation and not the next.


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