Crime And Its Punishment : The Responsibility Of The Criminal Justice System

Crime And Its Punishment : The Responsibility Of The Criminal Justice System

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Crime and its punishment are the responsibility of the criminal justice system. The system helps define what punishment is appropriate for which crime. The criminal justice system is in place to ensure that criminal laws are being adhered to according to the law. This judicial function is responsible for making sentences for those who are convicted for committing crimes. There are four traditional goals of punishment which are: retribution, deterrence, incapacitation (incarceration), and rehabilitation. Each goal has advantages and disadvantages of using; however, there have been concerns about how each goal is to be balanced and used. Due to the public view on sentencing,
Retribution refers to the concept that offenders should be punished for committing crimes when they freely violate existing social rules. This theory suggests that people get just what they deserve. Retribution reflects that the punishment be in accordance or equivalent to the crime. It is designed to restore victims back to their position before the offense was committed. This type of punishment seeks to reinforce the rules that have been broken and balance the scales of justice (Jenkins, 2011). Retribution has been considered a harsh punishment and it is difficult to equivalent a punishment that fits the offense.
Deterrence focuses on discouraging members of society from engaging in criminal activity out of fear of punishment (specific deterrence). In offer for this punishment to be effective, the offender must understand the consequences of their actions. It also seeks to discourage those members from committing similar crimes (general deterrence). General deterrence will work only if the severity of punishment is emphasized. One advantage of this ...


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...ation is considered as a positive and constructive means for dealing with criminals. A disadvantage of using rehabilitation is that some of the programs can lead to abuse. One of the problems associated with the rehabilitation is that some of programs can be costly if not implemented properly. “The punitive nature of prison can outweigh any potential benefits associated with rehabilitative programming. It is difficult to successfully implement rehabilitative change in punitively oriented prison environments”(Alleman & Gido, 2002).
There is no one goal that is more effective than the other. A combination use
of each punishment can be effective. The most effective approach of punishment would depend on each individual offender. There are many factors that should be taken in consideration in determining which punishment method would be appropriate for each offender.

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