* First, in your own words define, then compare and contrast the following concepts:
* General deterrence
* Specific deterrence
With General Deterrence the belief is that people should be punished severely to prevent others from committing the same crime. General Deterrence uses the person sentenced for a crime as an example to induce the public to refrain from criminal conduct, while Specific Deterrence punishes an offender to dissuade that offender from committing crimes in the future. Some crimes, such as crimes of passion and crimes committed while under the influence of drugs or alcohol cannot be deterred because the perpetrators don’t rationally weigh the benefits versus the costs before breaking the law. General Deterrence results from the perception of the public that sentences are harsh as opposed to Specific Deterrence which results from the actual experiences with detection, prosecution, and punishment of offenders. (Worrall & Siegal, 2012)
Incapacitation theory focuses on the victim or potential victim. The rights of the offender hold little consideration. The belief is that if an offender is behind bars they cannot commit future crimes. The most severe and permanent form of incapacitation is the death penalty. Incapacitation is justified through the Deterrence Theory. The chemical castration of sex offenders is another form of incapacitation as well as the disqualification of driving privileges and house arrest. Individuals can be punished for “hypothetical” crimes or crimes they may commit in the future. The “Three Strikes” law is an example of all three theories, Deterrence, Incapacitation, and Specific Deterrence. Incapacitation is cost prohibitive due to the cost of running prisons and housing inmates for an extended period of time. (Worrall & Siegal, 2012)
Changes in U.S. politics have caused shifts in the theoretical purposes of sentencing. During the heyday of...