Crime And Punishment Essay

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In this Essay I will form a commentary regarding crime and punishment in contemporary society. The aspects that will make up this essay will include crime and punishment, Modernisation theory and the growth of cities, the old penal regime, the modern age and the works of influential scholars including the likes of Emil Durkheim and Robert Merton. To begin with, Crime is a social construction that can differ over time. It is shaped by the social context of the time and acts can only be criminalised once society has deemed it harmful. The example of this is witch hunting whereby the punishment in the late 17th century was an execution. However the Introduction of the witchcraft act 1735 now holds a 1 year imprisonment for a person who posses magical powers. Punishment is deliberately inflicting pain on an offender. This said there are now other responses that follow such as rehabilitation and restorative justice. Crime could also be defined by religious doctrine in which the religion sets out punishments for certain acts. For instance the Islamic sharia law system holds capital punishment…show more content…
This was also seen as a sin against god where the punishment was directly inflicted on the individual. This notion of punishment was challenged by thinkers such as Michel Foucault who stated that Punishment should shift its focus from prisoner’s body to Soul. The enlightenment period was known for “The age of reason”. This was the classical idea that people had the choice what to do. Crime is persistent and mundane and there are now other social and psychological factors that impact crime. Another way to punish is to punish someone based on the severity crime. This view is known as “Just deserts”. This could be seen if someone was to commit a low level victimless crime. The punishment for this would be less severe to that of someone who committed a high level hate
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