Robert A. Ferguson Analysis

864 Words 4 Pages
Punishment is woven into the national fabric of the United States of America. Robert A. Ferguson analyzes the overly punitive component found in American culture. According to Ferguson (2014), the nation’s retributive impulse is reinforced and encouraged by the legality of punishment, and the complex identities and conflicts found in prison life. These elements provide a strong resistance to reform. The question the author encourages readers to consider is why the criminal-justice system of the United States is so deeply rooted in the idea of retribution. Ferguson (2014) concluded two possible answers: Americans have punitive tendencies that manifested itself into a larger issue or decisions regarding correctional theories and practices created an unexpected, yet problematic outcome. Ferguson implies that the United States still holds on to archaic theoretical beliefs of punishment. He provides studies that suggest American culture has an impulse to impose harsh consequences to actions mandated by legislation. Ferguson alludes that such cultural attitudes will define the United States in a morally unpleasant manner. Ferguson continues by suggesting a modern way of imposing punishment, methods empirically supported by evidence-based practices. Instead of enforcing a …show more content…
Ferguson (2014) states communities are more likely to support a tough on crime approach because of the uncertainty of criminal activity in relation to their proximity. The fear of victimization may cause a concern for individuals. However, the fear of crime alone is not enough to over-employ severe punishments, especially if a large portion of the community has never been victimized. An urge to punish individuals to new extremes usually occurs when one has been personally affected by a crime. There is a lack of motivation to punish if there is no emotional connection to the crime committed or the

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