To Punish or to Rehabilitate

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The criminal justice system covers several parts of the operational aspects of the system including law enforcement, courts, and corrections. Each and every aspect is of utmost importance in the successful function of the criminal justice system with the most questionable approach going to the decision to focus on the punishment or rehabilitation of offenders. The correctional process is entrusted with ensuring the safety of the public, the best alternative for handling each offender, while guaranteeing fairness is served to all. Finding the balance between all of these is not the easiest thing to do and reducing crime is not simply a matter of punishment or rehabilitation. There are many ways in which a convicted criminal can be punished and many of the punishments are based on the seriousness of the committed offense as well as the offender’s criminal history. Punishment for offenders includes restitution, probation, parole, intermediate sanctions, jails, prisons, and sometimes capital punishment. Restitution is a requirement of the courts to either pay money or provide services to victims of the crime or the community itself (Schmalleger, 2011). While paying restitution helps restore the victim’s standard of living and confidence, it is also a way for the offender to learn responsibility and consequences for their actions. Community corrections, or program-based sanctions permitting offenders to carry out conditional supervision within the community (Schmalleger, 2011), are alternative options to punishment that do not rely on institutional sentencing. Probation, for instance, is a sentence given that allows an offenders sentence to be served under the supervision of the community. Another community-ba... ... middle of paper ... ...s may simply be a Band-Aid to a more serious issue, punishment may only serve as a Band-Aid to recidivism. Works Cited Jones, C. A. (2011). Willingness to pay for rehabilitation versus punishment to reduce adult and juvenile crime. Australian Journal Of Social Issues (Australian Council Of Social Service), 46(1), 9-27. Retrieved from: Pearlstein, M. (2011). Crime, punishment, and rehabilitation. National Review, 63(18), 24. Retrieved from: Schmalleger, F. (2011). Criminal justice today: An introductory text for the 21st century (11th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NY: Prentice Hall.

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