In the context of crime, what are the purposes of punishment and does it work?

Essay by davejones37University, Bachelor'sB-, March 2004

download word file, 6 pages 3.0 1 reviews

Downloaded 207 times

This essay is concerned with looking at the reasons behind punishment in the context of crime, what are the purposes of the punishment and does it have a positive effect on crime levels in society. Crime could be defined as a 'non-conformity' to a set of rules, which are accepted by the majority of people within a society. Here is a dictionary definition of crime below:


1.An act committed or omitted in violation of a law forbidding or commanding it and for which punishment is imposed upon conviction.

2.Unlawful activity: statistics relating to violent crime.

3.A serious offence, especially one in violation of morality.

4.An unjust, senseless, or disgraceful act or condition: It's a crime to squander our country's natural resources.

Crime is the bane of every society and different methods of prevention are used within different societies, rehabilitation, prison sentences, community service, counselling, capital punishment etc.

below is a dictionary definition of punishment:


The act or an instance of punishing.

a.The condition of being punished.

1.A penalty imposed for wrongdoing: "The severity of the punishment must... be in keeping with the kind of obligation which has been violated" (Simone Weil).

2.Rough handling; mistreatment: These old skis have taken a lot of punishment over the years.

Not all methods of crime prevention have been proved to be successful, for example some people argue that the prison system creates a breed of super criminals because a person goes to prison for example, drug dealing, within prison he will associate with many other drug dealers and learn how to be a more efficient drug dealer, when released from prison he may then go back to his life of crime as a hardened professional criminal. The idea of capital punishment is flawed and many...