Deterrence, Rational and Restorative Justice Theories Essay

Deterrence, Rational and Restorative Justice Theories Essay

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This paper will illustrate three theories; deterrence theory, rational choice theory, and restorative justice theory. It will outline in detail the policies, and the connections between theory, research, and policy.
Deterrence theory can be outlined as “principles of certainty, severity, and celerity of punishment, proportionality, specific and general deterrence” (Burke, 2009). In order for the punishment to be effective it has to be certain, swift, severe. Certainty is more important than the severity in deterring crime. Deterrence theory confirms that if the punishment contains these three elements people will rationally calculate that there is more to be lost than there is to be gained from crime (Gordon, 2010). Deterrence functions in two ways. General deterrence is the punishment of the offender to be set as an example for others in the society and specific deterrence focuses on repeat offenders to refraining them from the act (Burke, 2009). The purpose of general deterrence is to abstain others considering committing the crime. It was argued that when the certainty, severity, and celerity of criminal sanctions are high in a population, criminal behaviour will be low. Studies suggest that capital punishment has been ineffective, other studies show that more homicides occurred when the death penalty was publicized (Pacotti, 2005). Then a comparative research shows that 5 countries with the highest homicide rate do impose the death penalty average 41.6% murders for every 100, 000 people, whereas the five countries that don’t impose death penalty is 21.6% for every 100, 000 (Gordon, 2010). Deterrence also has little affect on domestic cases, drunk driving, and shoplifting. Deterrence is well said in a theory but in reality ...


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...ender in certain circumstances of a situation. Restorative justice has been used widely, and has some success rate, for those to be held accountable without being sanctioned; by repairing the harm or paying restitution will restore harmony within the victim and community to some extent. The program is inconsistent that it will repair harm done to the victim, but many victims are being left emotionally, psychological, and physical strained which will lead to another conflict during victim-offender mediation.
Overall, it concludes the idea that some programs can effective and has ties to its theory; others can ineffective in deterring, repairing, and restoring crime, as well as low success rate. Furthermore, offenders in many cases don’t think rationally before committing the act and crime can’t be deterred it doesn’t matter if the punishment is harsh or lenient.

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