Discuss the Aims of Punishment

Discuss the Aims of Punishment

Forms of Punishment

  • Retribution: This is about punishing the criminal for wrongdoing. The punishment should be proportional to the crime committed, reflecting the saying “an eye for an eye”. It represents society’s disapproval for the crime.

  • Deterrence: The goal here is to dissuade individuals from committing crimes in the first place. There are two kinds of deterrence: general (intended to discourage the general public from crime after seeing the punishment of others) and specific (meant to discourage individuals who have previously committed crimes from reoffending).

Aims of Incarceration

  • Incapacitation: Aimed at protecting society by removing the ability of the criminal to commit further crimes. This is typically achieved through imprisonment.

  • Rehabilitation: This focus on assisting criminals to change their behaviour so they can lead law-abiding lives once they rejoin society. This can involve various programmes such as therapy, education, and job training.

Alternative Methods of Punishment

  • Restorative Justice: This is a process whereby all the parties with a stake in a particular offence come together to resolve collectively how to deal with the aftermath of the offence and its implications for the future.

  • Community Service: Non-custodial punishment where offenders carry out unpaid work for the benefit of the community. It’s applied for less serious crimes and aimed at reparation and reintegration.

  • Fines: These are monetary penalties imposed by courts. They’re a common method of punishment for lesser offences and deter individual through the financial burden imposed.