Punitive, Rehabilitative, And Restorative Punishment Essay

786 words - 3 pages

Introduction The philosophy of punishment has generally stayed the same in America. The nature and purpose shows us how there are certain punishments for certain crimes and whether or not the offender accepts the punishment or not determines the length and type of punishment they will receive. Historical viewpoints of punishment have increased over time and today we are still trying to come up with way where we can decrease crime as a whole in America.

Philosophy of punishment In the Middle Ages punishment was created so society could take revenge against the offender. During the late 1700’s the Enlightenment or better known as, Age of reason, affected views on law and criminal justice. Cesare Beccaria was a philosopher of the Enlightenment approach and he favored it extremely. He tried to figure out what the best legal system a country could have. Punishment was to be thought of as a deterrent that is a way of encouraging individuals to follow the law for reasons of social utility. Beccaria though explicitly on what exactly are the motives of criminals. Although he saw in some cases where the motive for a crime might be money, fines would be an appropriate means of punishment. Criminal punishment is intentionally inflicting pain or other unpleasant consequences on another person.

Nature/purpose Punishment is justified by retribution, deterrence, incapacitation, and rehabilitation. Retribution is also known as deserved punishment, which means that a person broke a law so they deserved to be punish for that specific crime. It’s an act of taking revenge on a criminal perpetrator. Deterrence is a goal of criminal sentencing that seeks to prevent criminal behavior through the fear of punishments. General deterrence prevents the general population who haven’t committed crimes from doing so. Specific deterrence prevents offenders from engaging in repetitive criminality in the future. Incapacitation restrains convicted offenders from committing further crimes and an example of this is capital punishment. Lastly, rehabilitation is mainly used to prevent crimes by changing the personality of the offender that he will conform to the principles of law. It is the theory that a criminal can be cured of their misconduct and can be returned to society. Punishment in this country is more rehabilitative than anything. We try to put offenders on probation, or give them community service, or...

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