- Published: September 30, 2022
- Updated: September 30, 2022
- University / College: New York University (NYU)
- Level: Masters
- Language: English
- Downloads: 14
Philosophies of Punishment Philosophies of Punishment Punishment refers to the imposition of a penalty as vengeance for wrongdoing. It is the universal response to crime and deviance in all communities. Philosophies of punishment serve diverse social control functions justifiable through the principles of retribution, incapacitation, deterrence, rehabilitation, and restoration.
The retribution theory explains that similar offenses should have similar charges. The analogy of retaliation features in the principle. Aspects of revenge are relevant to the principle because individuals may attack their opponents in the retaliatory act. Lawyers sometimes argue that punishment should depend on the magnitude of the destruction. However, cases may be similar but their severities differ (Weisberg, 2012).
The incapacitation principle proposes strategies put in place to help eliminate the level of crime through various physical restraints of the actions. The principle insinuates that individuals’ confinement to specific areas may help them to avoid a criminal act. The community may restrict the movement of their people to different places to preserve their cultural ties. The most practical example in the society today is the restriction of the children moving to some places like bars and clubs, would reduce the chances of children involving in drinking alcohols and the like.
The deterrence principle raises fundamental concerns on the connection between sanctions and human behavior. Punishment is a tool of reward to offenders. The deterrent effect of the punishment may lead to conformity. Severe punishment for a particular crime may deter an individual with an intention to commit an offense to abstain.
The principle of deterrence relates to the freedom of choice for an individual. Most individuals would choose to maximize their pleasures at minimum risk. The UN and the World Bank, for instance, may choose to impose serious economic sanction on some countries because of their misconduct. This imposition of the sanction may deter other countries which would otherwise involve in similar misconduct because of the fear of conviction. The type of punishment applied to the offenders injects fear in other parties hence deterring them from committing an offense.
Rehabilitation is a strategy for correcting the victims as discussed by Muhlhausen (2010). The principle focuses on restoring and reforming an offender. It may look ambiguous because it is a punishment coupled with treatment. The correctional centers are increasing all over the world because the punishment for the offenders aims at transforming the individuals to become responsible in the society.
Restoration theory gives room for offenders to recognize their mistake and take a personal step to apologize to the offended. The law requires the offender to write an apology letter to the subject seeking forgiveness. The offended may also react by accepting the apology of the offender. Under this punishment principle, it is the obligation of the offender to initiates reconciliation process with the victim.
Restoration is the soundest principle of punishment because it serves to avoid the recurrent of an offense. It enhances mutual understanding in the society because conflicting parties get the opportunity to reconcile. The restorative of justice is paramount under this theory. Punishment, therefore, facilitates peace and stability in the society.
Muhlhausen, D. (2010, May 27). Theories of Punishment and Mandatory Minimum Sentences. The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved http://www. heritage. org/research/testimony/theories-of-punishment-and-mandatory-minimum-sentences
Weisberg, R. (2012). Reality-Challenged Philosophies of Punishment. Marquette Law Review, 95(4).
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