Making Wrongs Right Essay

1172 words - 5 pages

Making Wrongs RightMaking society a better place for its inhabitants to live has always been the goal of the four types of punishment: retribution, deterrence, rehabilitation, and societal protection. Statistics show that there is a high rate of criminal recidivism in the United States where 75 percent of those in prison have previously been imprisoned and that half will be back within a few years of release (Macionis, 2006). The question to ask is how does society need to handle wrongs and make them right? This paper will discuss which form of punishment deters crimes most effectively and if the consequences of punishment provide any benefits for criminals and society.Punishment is defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as a penalty imposed by the judicial system onto a person who commits a crime (Merriam-Webster Online, 2007). Merriam-Webster also defines a crime as an act or the omission of an act that makes the offender liable to be punished by law (Merriam-Webster Online, 2007). Most people in a society believe that if a person is to commit a crime that they should be punished so it is necessary to understand which method of punishment works the best so that criminals will be deterred from criminal activity. Retribution is the oldest form of punishment and is similar from the biblical statement of an "eye for an eye" because the total purpose is to give the offender an equal amount of suffering as he/she caused (Macionis, 2006). Deterrence is another form of punishment that attempts to discourage criminality by using punishment (Macionis, 2006). The philosophy behind this method is having the punishment outweigh the pleasures of the crime (Macionis, 2006). Rehabilitation is a punishment program that helps to reform he behaviors of the offender to prevent future crimes (Macionis, 2006). Rehabilitation is tailor made to each individual so that it meets the specific personality and needs of that person (Macionis, 2006). The last method of punishment is societal protection which renders an offender incapable of further crimes by either imprisonment or execution (Macionis). With so many different types of punishments, one would expect a decrease in criminal activity.Criminal activity is steadily rising and as stated earlier, criminal recidivism is a large factor to consider. Questions such as, why crimes are continually committed by these individuals, need to be asked to understand the roots of the problem. This is a question that sociologists ask and continue to seek an answer for. Many people are now realizing the affect at combining different forms of punishment serve better in deterring criminal activity from happening such as rehabilitation and deterrence. Many criminal justice systems will order both jail time and drug rehabilitation for drug related activity.The largest question to be asked and answered is which punishment method works best. After this is answered, the information about the benefits and consequences of the punishment...

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