The History and Evolution of Punishment for Crime Essay

:: 3 Works Cited
Length: 2437 words (7 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Aqua      
Open Document

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The incarceration rate in the United States has continued to climb over the past twenty years making it one of the highest in the world. Police officers have been going to work trying to put away people who are breaking the law, but why do criminals continue to do so when they know they have a good chance of getting caught? Crime has been around since societies have evolved and every society has had their own way of dealing with criminal behavior. From early tribal times where the thinking was an eye for an eye, to medieval times when people who stole a loaf of bread would be put to death by being hung, and today with a court system that decides the fate of a criminal. Throughout history the ways of punishing people have changed pretty dramatically and the theories of how punishment should be handed out has had an influence on the way we run our system today. There have been many thoughts on the root of the crime problem, some believe that there is a criminal gene and some believe its all learned behavior, but it still seems today that even the threat of being put to death for a crime doesn’t stop people from committing them. In today’s society the ends outweigh the means and people will go to extreme measures to have a piece of the pie, so we must continue to try and deter these criminals through the threat of punishment.
Early tribal societies had primitive legal systems which were maintained through norms and traditions. They had no written laws, just the norms that had been passed down from person to person throughout hundreds of years. An example is Hammurabi’s code, an eye for an eye. Whatever crime someone commits the same crime shall be committed against that original person, this was the way to solve or punish crimes. A...

... middle of paper ...

...ill continue to happen and criminals will continue to find ways to break the law and get away with it, the history of punishment has changed and with threat of being punished maybe people will decide to change their mind about crime

Works Cited
Hoffner 1997:71, G. Skoll Contemporary Criminology and Criminal Justice Theory pg 26

"Torture in the Tower of London, 1597," EyeWitness to History, (2005).

Chambliss 1964 Laws of Vagrancy, pg394

Crime and Punishment in Victorian England, James Jackson, May 30, 2009

Lecture notes 9/14

Contemporary Criminology and Criminal justice Theory, G. Skoll pg. 27

Cesare Beccaria, Of Crimes and Punishment Chapter 2

George H. Mead, March 1918, The Psychology of Punitive Justice pg 585

Release Preparation, Federal Bureau of Prisons,

Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

This essay is 100% guaranteed.

Title Length Color Rating  
Essay about Crime and Punishment in Medieval Europe - Lesson chosen: The lesson is situated in the fourth week, and is the eleventh and second last lesson in the unit outline. Lesson aims in relation to Content Focus: The aim of this lesson will be to develop students understanding of crime and punishment in Medieval Europe. As outlined in AUSVELS, this will include investigating different kinds of crime and punishment utilised and the ways the nature of crime and punishment has either stayed the same throughout history, or changed over time. Contributions of this Lesson: This lesson is positioned after a study into Medieval Europe’s significant individuals....   [tags: history, politics, legislature]
:: 4 Works Cited
1021 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The History and Evolution of the Juvenile Justice System Essay - The history of the juvenile justice system is a mixture of the criminal justice system, family court, child protective services, social services, orphanages, adoption and humanitarian growth. (Schmalleger, 2007) Where a child fit into the system would depend on the crime, family pedigree, financial standing, color and social status. Children of color would be treated harsher than whites, Indian children were treated worse than African American Children, and status was determined by the color of your skin....   [tags: Criminal Justice]
:: 8 Works Cited
1369 words
(3.9 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Pros and Cons of Abolishing Capital Punishment Essay - Many debates were held during the course of the Constitutional Convention with the “necessity for a bill of rights” being most frequently the center of controversy. “Opponents repeatedly charged that the Constitution as drafted would open the way to tyranny by the central government” (Charters) as British violation of civil rights, both prior to and after the Revolution, was still fresh in their minds. Therefore, then, “they demanded a bill of rights that would spell out the immunities of individual citizens” (Charters)....   [tags: Constitutional Convention, American History]
:: 6 Works Cited
1146 words
(3.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Punishment: The True Story Essay - Punishment has been around for ages. From century to century the thoughts of punishment have changed for good and bad, but the focus of punishment has not changed. With two sides to the story one being to reform or rehabilitate and the other to be punitive and ask for a penalty in return for the wrong doing done. It is hard not to see that there is plenty of controversy revolving around the subject, punishment has with stood the test of time and with good reason. Some would say the need for punishment is obvious, but others believe it has been taken too far....   [tags: Psychology]
:: 7 Works Cited
1409 words
(4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Capital Punishment is Ineffective Essay - When remarking on the issue of capital punishment, Henry Ford was quoted as saying that “[c]apital punishment is as fundamentally wrong as a cure for crime as charity is wrong as a cure for poverty”(“Henry Ford”). His comment, while not saying that capital punishment and charity does not have the right idea about how to deal with the issues that plague societies, it does say that it does not properly address the issue so that it can be completely solved. While portrayed as the solution for to stop those thinking about committing serious offenses, this does not seemed to be the case at all....   [tags: Against Death Penalty Essays]
:: 15 Works Cited
1715 words
(4.9 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Evolution of the Moral Code Essays - Evolution of the Moral Code "Morality is the herding instinct of the individual."    -Nietzsche Within the depths of your imagination, two tribes exist. Peaceful hunter-gatherers, they are exactly equal in every respect. All of the variables in their environment are the same or cancel each other out. Their birth and death rates coincide exactly, their resources and location are so similar that they could be the same tribe. They remain in this state of equality, completely unaware of each others' existence, until one day a fight erupts in both tribes at the same time which heats to the point where one member of the tribe kills another in anger....   [tags: Philosophy essays] 1606 words
(4.6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on Capital Punishment and Politics - Capital punishment is a long debated, strongly felt issue that is difficult to resolve. This paper will examine the history behind the issue, the moral and empirical claims made on both sides of the argument and will offer a closer look into who is greatly affected by the use of capital punishment. Careful consideration is made concerning the people behind the issue such as victims, victims’ families, and society as a whole. The following significant ideas concerning the issue are also addressed: revenge and the morality concerning the use of the death penalty, religious positions on the death penalty, public opinion about the death penalty, costs of the death penalty, the innocent people wh...   [tags: Law Government Papers]
:: 15 Works Cited
3781 words
(10.8 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The History Behind Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky Essay - Crime and Punishment was written by a Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky in 1866. This novel was originally published not as a book, but as articles in a literary journal called The Russian Messenger over the period of one year. Crime and Punishment was later published as a single volume and considered a novel by Dostoyevsky, though he had originally intended it to be a novella. Fyodor Dostoyevsky wrote on subjects close to home, using settings and characters familiar to his own experiences. Thus, it is important for the reader to analyze the history behind the work of Crime and Punishment to understand it completely....   [tags: Crime and Punishment Essay]
:: 5 Works Cited
1289 words
(3.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime And Punishment Essay - Napoleon, Caesar, Aristotle, Washington, Rockefeller. These men have been a part of history for thousands of years. They are remembered for their flaws and triumphs, for their personalities and actions. Whether for good or for evil, they are, and will be, remembered. But then the question arises, are these men special. Do they deserve the remembrance that has been given to them. Are these the men who should be our role models. These questions are a central theme of Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment....   [tags: Crime and Punishment Essays] 1164 words
(3.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay To Kill or Not to Kill: That is the Question - One of the most controversial topics debated since the dawn of its era is capital punishment aka: the death penalty. Capital punishment is the planned taking of a human life by a government in response to the conviction of a criminal for a capital crime. Criminals who commit heinous acts such as, murder must suffer the consequences of the ultimate punishment; death. Society tends to have passionate opinions on the issue both for and against this method of punishment. This unfortunately causes our nation to be extremely divided resulting in inconsistencies in trial verdicts from state to state....   [tags: capital punishment, death penalty]
:: 13 Works Cited
1992 words
(5.7 pages)
Term Papers [preview]