The overall objective of punishment is to impose some kind of penalty on an individual for violating a law or rule, in the hopes that the penalty or punishment will result in that individual not committing future violations of the laws or rules, or causing any further harm to society (Foster, 2006). However, much controversy exists about which objective of punishment is effective for correcting criminal behavior.
The deterrence objective of punishment is achieved by the certainty of imprisonment, which seems to have a discouraging effect on those who commit crimes or who may commit crimes. Individuals tend to avoid repeating criminal acts, or committing criminal acts altogether when the consequences are known (Foster, 2006). In other words, fear of punishment restrains certain individuals from committing or repeating criminal acts.
Incapacitations’ objective is to protect society by imprisoning those who commit criminal acts, so those individuals no longer pose a threat to society. Therefore, society is safer because the criminals have been removed.
Reformations’ objective of punishment is to rehabilitate individuals while they are imprisoned which aids in reducing criminal activity and may even eliminate future criminal activity for some individuals. This is achieved through various programs in which promote law abiding behavior.
How Punishment Applies to the Criminal Justice System
Punishment applies to the criminal justice as one of its main objectives in preventing and controlling criminal behavior and acts. If the criminal justice system had no objective of punishment than criminals would face no penalties for their violations of laws and rules, therefore, those criminals would continue to commit such acts, and society could face extensive harm....