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Punishment Essay

1236 words - 5 pages

This paper is a research and outline on crime and punishment. In todays' American society there are four types of punishment which are: retribution, deterrence, rehabilitation, and societal protection (incarceration). Retribution is an act of moral vengeance by which society makes the offender suffer as much as the suffering caused by the crime. Deterrence is the attempt to discourage the criminality through the use of punishment. Rehabilitation is a program for reforming the offender to prevent later offenses. Societal protection is rendering an offender incapable of further offenses temporarily through imprisonment or permanently by execution (Macionis 2006).
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In addition, the punishment must be administered swiftly so that potential criminals will see a clear cause and effect relationship between the crime and the punishment. According to Schonebaum, when punishment deters potential criminals from committing crimes, it is called “general deterrence.”; when the punishment does not deter criminals from committing crimes or recommitting crimes, it is called “specific deterrence.”
Every person, every criminal, every offender is alike in some ways but different if others. There are no two people that are just alike. Each and every offender will have a different way of reacting to consequences, outcomes of incidents, and influences obtained from their environment (Needles 2007). This means that there is not one type of punishment that will be effective on each and every criminal. There are many ways to make punishment successful you just have to carefully choose the right punishment for the crime committed by that particular offender. According to Needles (2007) the more severe, certain, and swift the punishment is, the more likely it is to to control crime and also on the other hand, the specific deterrence theory holds that the crime rate can be reduce if known offenders are punished so severely that they never commit a crime again. Clear, Cole, and Reisig (2006) says that the punishment must be so harsh in order to make the offender say, “The consequences of my crime were
too painful, I will not commit that crime, or any other crime again because I do not want to being punished like that again.”
Punishment can be very effective in some instances but is ineffective in other instances. I feel that the punishment has to depend on the crime. An example would be case scenario one; a young man goes to the local Wal-Mart store with a group of his buddies, several of his buddies have been shop lifting from the store for months and he knows this, they are doing the same thing today and eh decides today that he is going to join them, keep in mind, this is the first time that he has ever done this, but he decides today that he wants this cool CD that all of his friends already have but he can not afford to buy it so he quickly drops it down his pants. He nervously keeps on walking in the store with his friends and then they all leave as they are leaving the security system at the door goes off and his friends run and leave him, security was after the buddies but they took off so he caught the nervous young man with the CD in his pants. Case scenario two (2) The same guy from the first story above and his buddies all are...

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