Punishment Essay

873 words - 3 pages

Punishment PAGE 2
Running head: PUNISHMENTPunishmentTiffany FarleyAxia CollegeIn partial fulfillment of the requirements for SOC 120Kate LoutonMarch 14, 2010Punishment usually means the infliction of a penalty. In today's society we are currently using three forms of punishment retribution, deterrence, rehabilitation, and, societal protection. These punishments are used to try and lower crime rates and inflict penalty on the ones who deserve it.The first of the four punishments I will be discussing is retribution one of the oldest forms of punishment used. Retribution is known as "an act of moral vengeance by which society makes the offender suffer as much as the suffering caused by the crime" (Macionis, 2006, p. 182). This type of punishment is used to keep the moral of society satisfied. It does this by producing punishment in equal measures; an eye for an eye. An example of retribution is in the Arizona v. Berger case. Berger was sentenced to 200-years without parole for having possession of 20 images of child porn; 10 years per picture.The second of the four punishments I will be discussing is deterrence. Deterrence is the attempt to discourage criminality through the use of punishment (Macionis, 2006, p. 182). This punishment came about in the eighteenth century as an idea. This punishment was made to show people what would happen if they decided to break the law before they ever did anything. They figured if people knew the pain of punishment that they would not break the law. An example of deterrence is when the United States threatens a would-be missile attacker with unacceptable punishment if they shot them missiles (Levi, n.d.).The Third of the four punishments I will be discussing is rehabilitation. This type of punishment is a program for reforming the offender to prevent later offenses (Macionis, 2006, p. 183). This punishment arose in the nineteenth century with social science. Sociologist believe that crime is learned from social environments therefore, sociologist feel if people can learn to misbehave then they can learn to behave by controlling the environment. Rehabilitation is a controlled environment where people can learn to behave (Macionis, 2006, p. 183). An example of rehabilitation is when you get caught doing drugs and they sentence you to a 12 week drug program. At the drug program they will help you realize you don't need drugs that life is so much more fulfilling without them. Then after your 12 weeks you walk out of there with head held high because you fill like a new person. Rehabilitation emphasizes constructive improvement, whereas deterrence and retribution simply make the offender suffer (Macionis, 2006,...

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