Does Punishment Deter Crime?

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Does punishment deter crime? This author is of the opinion in most cases it does not. One example is the rate of juvenile offenders that are convicted as adults and imprisoned in adult jails. Statistics show that there are more than 7000 children in adult jails. There is an estimated 200,000 youth prosecuted as adults every year.(Cardwell,2007) The youth that are tried as adults do not get rehabilitated and their chances of recidivism increases with every day they are in an adult facility. They are subjected to the influence of adult offenders on a daily basis. Adult jails will just teach them how to be more violent and get away with more serious crimes. Juvenile offenders are still very impressionable and interacting with the violent and hardened criminals does not give them the tools to survive in normal society and become productive citizens. My contention has been that if we catch these offenders soon enough we can prevent them from committing more serious crimes. Many states have implemented the death penalty, hoping that it would be a deterrent against crime. I do not think it works either. Many prosecutors use the threat of the death penalty as a way of getting a plea deal to get the offender off the streets. (Ewegen, 1994) Yet using the death penalty this way does not make it a deterrent against crime, it just keeps the judicial system from spending more money on trials. The death penalty has been abolished in many developed societies. The death penalty has no deterrent effect on capital crime. More over, the risk of executing an innocent person is unacceptable. Retribution can be obtained and met by imposing long-term imprisonment or for the term of the offender’s natural life. (Pannick, 1995) Some governments believe that keeping a prisoner on death row for years during the appeals process can be considered cruel and unusual punishment. The
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