Making Wrongs Right

Essay by jmsmithx1College, UndergraduateA+, December 2007

download word file, 5 pages 5.0 1 reviews

Downloaded 48 times

Making Wrongs RightMaking society a better place for its inhabitants to live has always been the goal of the four types of punishment: retribution, deterrence, rehabilitation, and societal protection. Statistics show that there is a high rate of criminal recidivism in the United States where 75 percent of those in prison have previously been imprisoned and that half will be back within a few years of release (Macionis, 2006). The question to ask is how does society need to handle wrongs and make them right? This paper will discuss which form of punishment deters crimes most effectively and if the consequences of punishment provide any benefits for criminals and society.

Punishment is defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as a penalty imposed by the judicial system onto a person who commits a crime (Merriam-Webster Online, 2007). Merriam-Webster also defines a crime as an act or the omission of an act that makes the offender liable to be punished by law (Merriam-Webster Online, 2007).

Most people in a society believe that if a person is to commit a crime that they should be punished so it is necessary to understand which method of punishment works the best so that criminals will be deterred from criminal activity. Retribution is the oldest form of punishment and is similar from the biblical statement of an "eye for an eye" because the total purpose is to give the offender an equal amount of suffering as he/she caused (Macionis, 2006). Deterrence is another form of punishment that attempts to discourage criminality by using punishment (Macionis, 2006). The philosophy behind this method is having the punishment outweigh the pleasures of the crime (Macionis, 2006). Rehabilitation is a punishment program that helps to reform he behaviors of the offender to prevent future crimes (Macionis, 2006). Rehabilitation is tailor made...