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Punishment Research Paper

1153 words - 5 pages

Punishment Research Paper
Craig Hart
March 25, 2012
SOC/120

When it comes to American society there are four types of punishment. These types of punishment are retribution, deterrence, rehabilitation and societal protection. Punishment in its concept is favorably perceived as a retributive practice. Our society uses these four forms of punishment attempting to lower crime rates in our society. Some of these types of punishments could be considered harder than others however each one has its own distinction.

Retribution according to the dictionary is the act of punishing or taking vengeance for wrongdoing, sin, or injury. I think that the phrase “an eye for an eye” and “a ...view middle of the document...

This is a very old practice of how the courts treat criminals to teach them not to do the crime again. The best example of deterrence is jail or prison; people in society know that if you do a criminal act you will spend time in a correctional facility. But sometimes people think that they can “beat the rap” if they don’t get caught even though they are fully aware of the consequences. In different ways deterrence can be almost a domino affect for example if you get pulled over for speeding on your way to work which in turn makes you late for work. And then you get written up or have to stay later then usual which change your plans for the your time after work. This type of punishment is not subject to adults only; children and young adults in school can experience deterrence. Detention and suspension are examples of deterrence by showing the kids that if they act up or do not listen to the teacher they can get detention, which they know when they first start school. Suspension is a harder punishment for kids they have to do something more drastic like fighting or bringing something illegal to school. There are others ways to help change a criminal’s ways from deterrence like rehabilitation.

Rehabilitation is the process of helping an individual achieve the highest level of independence and quality of life possible - physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. There are many types of rehabilitation from rehab for an injury to rehab for an addiction. This process is more of a hand up than a hand out when it comes to criminals. I do not consider this a punishment rather a form of positive reinforcement. Rehabilitation is a form of prevention to help offenders stop their criminal acts and not continue the conduct anymore. Different countries have different ways of using rehabilitation programs; Canada tries more of a tough love approach by using it more as a punishment than a program. According to Jana Valkova (1997) Despite a slight change in attitudes towards punishment after 1990, the nature of penalties has not been adapted to the new goals. The punishment, which fulfills the retributive, i.e. deterrent objective, will not automatically become a means of re-education and rehabilitation merely because we change its objective in law. The new purpose of punishment requires changes in contents of punishment, i.e. searching for effective ways of handling offenders both outside and inside prisons. We have to...

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