Punishment Research Essay

Submitted By leahcmurry
Words: 1252
Pages: 6

Punishment Research

SOC/120

University of Phoenix

The rate of crime in the United States, according to the world standards, is the highest. Crime includes violation against persons and violation against property and can also be categorized as white-collar, corporate, organized and hate crimes along with many others. There are four different justifications for punishment which include retribution, deterrence, rehabilitation and societal protection. Retribution is the oldest justification for punishment and the punishment is society’s revenge for a moral wrong and avenging a crime committed. This doesn’t do a lot for the criminal to change their ways but they are paying their dues to society for their wrong doings. The best example for this would be community service for someone who destroyed public property . They are paying back society by picking up trash along the highway or by spending time sorting clothes at a thrift store. It’s less of a payback to society than any prison time or death sentence. Deterrence is an early modern approach that says the punishment for the crime outweighs the crime committed. The belief is that a person is going to avoid the crime at all costs because the punishment is so awful. If a person knows that they’ll receive a big fine for speeding it will lessen the chances they’ll choose to speed while driving. Rehabilitation is a modern strategy that is linked with the growth of social sciences. The person’s treatment is tailored to their condition. When someone has issues with mental illnesses and not taking any medications they may be admitted to a mental institution rather than serving time in a general population prison. Their punishment fits their mindset so that things are “fair”. There are people who use this to their advantage and turn their wrongdoings into “insanity” so that they can have treatment tailored to their condition but in all actuality don’t have any mental health diagnosis at all. Societal protection is a modern approach and is generally easier to follow through with than rehabilitation. When society is unwilling to rehabilitate offenders they are protected by imprisonment or execution of the offender. The death penalty relates to societal protection because it protects society from the person dangering them in a similar way ever again. It’s been argued that the motivation to commit a crime is deterred by the contingency of cost rather than actual action of punishment. They are neither inclines or disinclined toward offending based on motivation. (Taylor, Walton, and Young 1973). Those who are prone to commit crimes are also less threatened by punishments because of their impulsive behavior and focus on rewards rather than punishment. The question of punishments deterring crime has been around for years and the answer has been questionable. Criminal recidivism, or “repeat offenders” shows that people who have been reprimanded or punished for one crime have recommitted the same crime sometime later. A person who robbed a bank thirty years ago and was sentenced to 15 years in prison may be released and commit the same crime two or three more times and it has no effect on how they view the crime of their personal actions. Many get away with serving less time due to good behavior. Good behavior should have occurred beforehand and the crime may have not been committed in the first place. It’s an irrational thought to put into the offenders head because it’s teaching them that no matter what they do, when they get to prison they just have to act a certain way and they’ll get early release.
The most common form of deterrent where crime is concerned is the death penalty. The death penalty is the only absolute way to guarantee that a person will not commit the same crime two or three times more. In Chapter 7 of “Society: The Basics it states that “the death penalty remains controversial in…