Jeremy Bentham Criminal Justice Essay

1615 Words Dec 20th, 2013 7 Pages
Jeremy Bentham’s Influence on the Criminal Justice System:
Past and Present The delivery of punishment has changed significantly over the centuries. Up until the 19th century in England, imprisonment was not regarded as a punishment, it was merely used while the offender waited to be sentenced to their ‘real’ punishment (Bull, 2010; Hirst, 1998). Corporal punishment such as flogging, branding and mutilation, death by hanging, and transportation to other continents such as America and Australia were common punitive measures through the ages, until well into the 1800’s (Newburn, 2003). Although these extreme penalties are no longer acceptable or practised by criminal courts in England or Australia, in some ways, the past has
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Finally, and most importantly, deterrence is reached by making the offender afraid to reoffend because of the inevitable consequences of the action (namely, returning to the conditions of prison [Von Hirsch, 1998]). Additionally, Bentham conceded that the prison ought to be open for the public to observe as a means of general prevention (Hopkins Burke, 2011). Prisoners would be made an example of in order to deter potential offenders from committing the same crimes: it would be known to all that if one were to commit a crime, they would endure to the same fate. Transportation did not align with Bentham’s perspective regarding the solution to crime (Rosen, 2003). He argued that sending offenders to a far away place would not deter anyone from offending or reoffending. In short, Australia contained an uncertain fate for those sentenced to transportation (Bull, 2010). If and when the offender survived the long and treacherous journey across the ocean from England to Australia, they were awarded far more freedom and independence than Bentham thought they deserved. Bentham argued that offenders would not be deterred from committing crime if the consequences were not strict, certain and undesirable (Bull, 2010). Furthermore, the lack of public exposure of the consequences of crime failed to meet Bentham’s guidelines for general prevention, if they were to be implemented overseas. Overall, Bentham considered transportation as a

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