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In: Social Issues

Submitted By curtwood23325
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Objectives of Punishment
Curtis Woodhouse
November 25, 2011
Many people have the different ideas of the objective of punishment in the criminal justice system. Some say that punishment is circumstantial. Different forms of punishment are effective for various forms of crime. There are cases in which retribution, prevention/deterrence, and rehabilitation are all suitable. A legal system is necessary in our society and the maintenance of this system requires punishment. However, the main focus of all punishment should be to improve society as a whole.

As citizens of a community we abide by an implied social contract theory. This theory is simply that society makes rules, so that we can be civilized and that as citizens we should follow these rules. This social contact theory supports the idea that law without punishment is worthless. Punishment is needed so that there are repercussions for law breaking which discourages crime.

A popular reason for punishment is that it gets criminals off the streets and protects the public. The idea is to remove an offender from society, making it physically impossible (or at least very difficult) for him or her to commit further crimes against the public while serving a sentence. Incapacitation works as long as the offenders remain locked up. There is no question that incapacitation reduces crime rates by some unknown degree. The problem is that it is very expensive. Incapacitation carries high costs not only in terms of building and operating prisons, but also in terms of disrupting families when family members are locked up.

Foster, B. (2006). Corrections: The fundamentals. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice...

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