Utilitarian Theory of Punishment in the Criminal Justice System Essay example

Utilitarian Theory of Punishment in the Criminal Justice System Essay example

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There is an ongoing problem in our society regarding punishment and responsibility. We, as a society, tend to look away when it comes to how criminals are being punished and maybe we should be paying more attention. Violence seems to be an integral part of our society, some raise their children with violence, we watch it on television, read it in newspapers and books and now we are even playing violent video games. When it comes to the judicial system the majority of citizens do not even know how individuals are being punished or if the punishment is too harsh, not severe enough or if the individual even needs punishment because what they may need is psychiatric help.
Behavioral scientist, Karl Menninger, believes that our prisons are “inhumane reformatories” and that public resistance to crime and how it should be reformed has slowed down the progress of how we can rehabilitate criminals through the psychiatric process. Offenders do not want to be controlled and many commit crimes as a way to escape situations. Crime can also be motivated by other factors including poverty, humiliation, and a need for reassurance. There is belief that that if there was a consistent diagnosis through a clinic then trained workers would have the ability to spend time with the offender and be able to let a judge know what treatment would benefit the offender and this would lead to a transformation in our prison system.
For effective treatment to take place they would need to bring about favorable change in the patient and change their attitude. Psychiatrist’s need to have a therapeutic attitude of hopefulness for recovery and help the patient make changes by replacing a punitive attitude with a therapeutic attitude. They would need to change th...

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... the rotating door of the same criminals entering the prison system. For some defendants the education, classes and therapy is exactly what they need in order to begin making the right choices, but for others it is not so easy. Some defendants go to the classes, go to the therapy and become educated. This is a weakness to the argument because defendants do become smarter criminal’s that learn exactly what words to use, but they choose not to take the information they have learned to make good, life changing decisions to become rehabilitated. I don’t believe we can help all criminals especially those that are not interested in our help so, I think this is a type of reform will not be as fertile as we would like to help prevent crime.

Morality in Practice, seventh edition, James P. Sterba, 2004
http://dictionary.reference.com/, February 3, 2014

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