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Elizabeth Fry, quoted, "Punishment is not for revenge, but to lessen crime and reform the criminal." The way criminals are being sentenced today depends largely on crime rates the theories on how to deter crime and point to which the community feels helpless by crime. Traditionally different approaches to sentencing have been taken. After a defendant has been convicted or pleading guilty of the crime the judge will decide on the suitable punishment. Sentencing for the criminal offenses can range from probation, community service, and prison with the death penalty. This paper will be covering concepts of deterrence, rehabilitation, incapacitation, and retribution.
These are some ways how criminal are be sentenced today depend on the crime rate, the theories on how to deter crime. Starting with concepts of deterrence what is deterrence "it is a goal of criminal sentencing that seeks to inhibit criminal behavior through the fear of punishment" (Schmalleger 2011,pg374). According to Schmalleger (2011), that deterrence use the example or the threat of punishment to convince people that criminal activity is not worthwhile (pg 374). As Schmalleger (2011), mention deterrence is one of the more "rational" goal of sentence because it is a easy articulated goals and become it is possible to investigate objectively the amount of punishment require to deter (pg. 374).
The general- public like our own is not willing to enforce excessive punishment on petty offenders and even harsh punishment are not display the use of reducing the rate of serious crime, such as murder, and drug running.
"Deterrence is compatible with the goal of incapacitation at least specific deterrence can be achieved through incapacitating offenders" (Schmalleger 2011, pg374). It is aim to prevent new crimes but they have to set example of what would happen to other along with the punishment that may have and hinder effect. The reason why deterrence may not be as effective under may circumstance involve some basic psychological principle of human behavior and behavior modification (Bauer, 2011). Deterrence is the fourth in a serious on death penalty issues.
The second type of criminal sentencing is rehabilitation it is an idea of curing an offender of his/her own criminal behavior and try to changing their habits. Rehabilitation means, "attempt to reform a criminal offender which can help bring about some fundamental changes in offender alone with their behavior" (Schmalleger, 2010 pg340).
As stated by Wallace & Roberson (2008), Rehabilitation attempts to modify the offender's conduct by administering some form of treatment under the supervision of criminal justice personnel. The effort includes vocational training, mental health counseling, educational opportunities, and termination of alcohol or drug dependency (pg340). They use rehabilitation to reduce the number of criminal offenses. "However, using rehabilitation, is a misnomer for the kinds of changes that it supporter seeks" (Schmalleger, 2011, pg375).
The use of rehabilitation stated by Schmalleger (2011),trying to return a person to his or her previous condition, just as medical rehabilitation programs seek to restore functioning to atrophied limbs, to rejuvenate injured organs, and to mend shattered minds(pg375).
Being on probation and parole increased the opportunity for rehabilitation the both be useful behavioral management tools that can reward offenders with a bit of freedom and which will allow the offenders to shape up there life that they can reach though this program. They are some setback for letting the criminal out on probation and parole under the program of being rehabilitation could cause a lot of risk to the community, and the lack of punishment they deserve. The question is does rehabilitation actually work, probably not.
Third type of criminal sentencing is incapacitation. Incapacitation is the second goal of criminal sentencing. Incapacitation is to help protect the innocent people in our society from the criminal that may send harm our way. What does incapacitation do it is "the removal of offender from the criminal from continuing activities and protect law-biding citizens from further criminal act by one specific person" (Wallace & Roberson, 2008, pg340).
Back in the ancient times, they use mutilation and amputation so that the criminal would not repeat that crime again. This is something that we need to consider once again it sound cruel but it no crueler then the criminal hurting our society or just keep repeating the same crime over and over. This is something to think about would you like something disfigurement or even taking away I do not think the rest of us would either is might be a good way of waking up our society.
As Schmalleger (2011) stated, incapacitation sometimes call the "lock 'em up approach," for the basis for the modern movement toward prison "warehousing(pg374). Unlike retribution Schmalleger (2011), incapacitation requires only restraint -and not punishment (pg374). To imprisonment, the criminal cost around $62 per inmate for the state and federal prison. The increase cost of the numbers of inmates is growing it cost a lot to house the prisoner in 2003, the cost of running a nation's correctional facilities is $67 billion just think what is cost in 2011.
The final one that is going to be mention is Retribution. As you remember for the Old Testament motto "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth" this is an early example of retribution. There are different people in our world today that think strongly of these words. They think that revenge is a form of retribution. Most people states that revenge are a personal matter. While others believe in "just deserts," saying the one who committed the crimes should be the one to be punished.
The death penalty is a form of retribution.The idea behind retribution is that punishment is justified when it is deserve. "Retribution looks backward and justifies punishment solely on the basis of the voluntary commission of a crime. This is based on the assumption that humans possess free will, and, therefore, may rightly be blamed when they choose to violate society's mores" (law files). As Heskey (2011) stated, in colonial times, the stocks were used to publicly shame for those who had committed a transgression wrote a speech on if criminals found guilty of vandalism were forced to appear on television and apologize, whether this would curb graffiti. Shame is a powerful factor in retribution. "Retribution is punishment that is thought to be morally justified" (Heskey, 2011).
"Juries are not called on to determine what criminal punishment to apply to a defendant. The judge usually makes these determinations in criminal cases. The sentencing judge may consider a number of goals in deciding which punishment to impose. These goals can be classified as deterrence, retribution, and rehabilitation,[ incapacitation]"(lawfiles,n.d).
"Smart people (like smart lawyers) can come up with very good explanations for mistaken points of view."
- Richard P. Feynman, Physicist