What Is The Purpose Of Punishment Philosophies

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When thinking about punishment, many people couple it with committing crime and think nothing more than that, and few understand the purpose of punishment. “Punishments vary in their underlying philosophy and form. Major punishment philosophies include retribution, deterrence, rehabilitation, incapacitation, and restoration.” (Miethe & Lu, 2005). Each of these philosophies is unique in that they each focus on a particular necessity that the public would benefit from, while remaining independent of the other philosophies. Coupling punishment with committing crime and understanding the purpose of punishment proves that the philosophies each provide a different level of satisfaction for a victim and the society. Retribution is punishment inflicted…show more content…
This is “accomplished through a combination of surveillance and control of offenders, of treatment and rehabilitative services, and of incapacitation during the service of a prison sentence.” (Miethe & Lu, 2005) Retribution has a unique way of aligning with this purpose which is what makes it the most convincing of the other philosophies. Though the rehabilitation theory calls for changing the individual lawbreaker through correctional interventions, the retribution theory can be used to influence that change. The rehabilitation theory’s focus is truly only effective in crimes against property or society and less affective in personal crimes. Consider someone being arrested for assault. If the punishment consists of fines, anger management programs, or even jail time, the punishment does not truly fit the crime. The victim of the assault receives the no satisfaction that the offender has learned a lesson from his punishment. Literature notes that prisons at best do nothing to reform offenders and at worst play a central role in reproducing crime. Any attempt to rehabilitate an offender within prison must first overcome the difficult process of stripping inmates’ familiar social and cultural supports around which their personal identity had previously been centered. The retribution theory does not require the necessity of overcoming that obstacle. By letting the punishment fit the crime, supporters sponsor just deserts, which defines justice in terms of fairness and proportionality. Ideally, the severity of punishments should be comparable to the gravity of crimes. Retribution is a backward‐looking theory of punishment. It looks to the past to determine what to do in the present. Retribution is closely linked to future- oriented correctional goals. Punishment is necessary for deterrence, and the presence of punishment encourages
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