The Punishment's Effect On Americans

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SOC/120 Punishment's Affect on Americans Just as there are many types of crime, there are many different punishments, and justifications for those punishments. There are four justifications for punishment, retribution, deterrence, rehabilitation, and social protection, each has its own merits, and hopes to accomplish a specific goal as it relates to deviant behavior. Though the theories behind each of these justifications are different, each has the same goal, to punish deviant behavior in a way that helps prevent another offense by the one convicted, and prevent the desire by others to commit the crime also. Retribution, the oldest justification, seeks to get revenge on the deviant for some moral wrong committed against another person…show more content…
The idea is to make the probability of arrest and conviction high as well as the punishment severe enough to make the would-be criminal think twice before committing the act. These three elements are supposed to deter crime, but according to Mendes and McDonald, 2001, though the arrest and conviction probability is a strong deterrent, the severity of punishment plays a much lesser role in decisions. When deterrence is used for justification of punishment then the crime is looked at as a social disruption that society must act upon in order to control. If most people thought alike then deterrence would be more effective than it is now, because even though some people are deterred there are others who do not consider the punishment enough to prevent them from their deviant…show more content…
In cases where the primary reason for the offense is related to poverty or mental illness, in my opinion, the primary focus should be rehabilitation, as these offenders are less likely to repeat if they have what they need. Retribution is the one method that I feel really does not have a place in today’s society, if the court feels that the individual is beyond rehabilitation, then it is in societies best interest to protect it from that individual for as long as allowed by law. Deterrence can be a very effective method when trying to curb deviant behavior, but people must know how hard it is to get away with the criminal behavior, and how likely they are to be convicted if arrested, then it can be much more effective than just letting people stumble into the situation then finding out. Ultimately rehabilitation would be the ideal but not everyone can be rehabilitated and these people have to be punished in a way that lets others get the benefits of rehabilitation. References Forer, L. G. (1992). Justice by numbers. Washington Monthly, 24(4), 12. Lambert, E., Hogan, N., Barton, S., Jiang, S., & Baker, D. (2008). The Impact of Punishment and Rehabilitation Views on Organizational Commitment Among Correctional
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