since its origins, the penal and criminological ideas developed in argentina were marked by the strong influence of european thought. in the period under review (1880-1916), began to be operated a number of important changes in the juridical discourses and the lawyers of tucuman were not outside those changes. the intellectual elites of tucuman, province in great growth since the arrival of the railroad, began to claim more and more insistently the need for a complete renovation of the judicial system. to understand the intellectual climate in which tucuman's lawyers were formed towards the end of the nineteenth and early twentieth century, this article will present an overview of criminological ideas of european positivism. then, address the impact of those ideas in argentina and finally examine how was the reception and implementation of these ideas in the tucuman's legal field. we will not limit ourselves only to the analysis of discourse, but will also address some aspects of its implementation.