To What Extent Do You Feel That the Purpose of Punishment Is to A) Protect Society, B) Punish Criminals, or C) Rehabilitate and Reform Criminals?
The criminals harm society, and victims can do harm in turn. Rehabilitation’s purpose is to change offender’s mind and to make him/her become a valuable member of society. Restitution is one of the purposes, which allows victim to regain his/her status in the society. The offender must perform some actions, which will help the victim to regain the status. Punishment assists in it. In addition, there are two more purposes, which can show that punishment is a vital process. They are education and denunciation. Education helps offenders to realize what they did and that it was wrong. Denunciation of the community also helps to become better and to return to the community with new and right views.
Further, the motive behind the action may sometimes neutralize the harshness of the sentence, as some intentions are more morally acceptable than others (Carlsmith et al., 2002). State and federal criminal justice systems also punish to prevent criminals from committing future crimes. Therefore, deterrence is a key reason for passing sentences. The logic behind this motive is that if a person is aware of the liability for their actions, then they will be prevented from committing future crimes. They will weigh the benefit of committing the wrong against the cost of getting caught and refrain from doing so.Common forms of punishment in the deterrence school include corporal punishment, imprisonment, and payment of fines. Usually, punishers make the sentence public such that other people will be aware of the act and refrain from engaging in it in the future.
But I am sure that punishment so far is the function which separates those who live legally and those who do not. I also believe that the fear of punishment changes people behaviour a lot, as we all are afraid of punishment… is that not true?
Carlsmith, K., Darley, J. & Robinson, P. (2002). Why do we punish? Deterrence and just deserts as motives for punishment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83(2), 284-299.
Miller, C. & Bales, W. (2012). The impact of determinate sentencing on prisoner misconduct. Journal of Criminal Justice, 40(5), 394-403.
Reid, S., (2000). Crime and Criminology, 9th edition. McGraw Hill Publishers. USA
Siegel, L. (2008). Essentials of Criminal Justice. 6th Edition. Wadsworth Cengage Learning. Georgia, USA.
White, J. (2000). Contemporary Moral Problems. 9th edition. Cengage Learning Inc. USA