Punishment: Society's Purpose Of The Criminal Justice System

1452 Words 6 Pages
Punishment is society’s form of justice, however social structure changes and so does what we perceive to be true justice. Making the victim whole is no longer the sole purpose of punishment. Deterrence is the key to making sure that people who commit crimes are reformed through punishment and given the opportunity to demonstrate that they can become law-abiding citizens. Parole, probation, halfway homes are some programs designed to give criminals this second chance. However, according to the National Institute of Justice study performed in 2005 it tracked over 400, 000 prisoners in thirty states and found that within three years of their release 67.8 percent of those individuals returned to prison and jail (Durose, Matthew, & Cooper 2014). …show more content…
However, society felt reform was in order; the concept to change an individual into a productive citizen was more important than locking them up and throwing away the key. Trying to find the source or reason of their deviant behavior was a crucial step in the deterrence. Leaders felt that social conditions were to blame for the rise in crime. Legislation needed to create and implement policies and practices that addressed the socioeconomic issues many of the prisoners had. Therefore, finding a rational deterrent for crime by investigating its cause became the top priority. However, no one seemed to think that …show more content…
Another objective look at the recidivism problem in the United States is crucial given the rise in returning criminals. The benefit of punishment is deterrence, and mandatory sentences should be served regardless of background or circumstances; this removes the offender’s capacity to commit further crimes. Society is too flaccid, and the goal of corrections becomes rehabilitation instead of punishment. And so, the purpose of punishments is to dissuade criminals from committing further acts of crime and the decision to release offenders relies on predicting human behavior; something that is beyond measure. The use of prisons will continue to be vital in criminal deterrence. Crime and punishment in American history has undoubtedly been an issue society has had to ascertain. Recidivism is a large problem in the United States; surely, something must be done. How to reform and punish becomes a dichotomy of ideas, where then does the answer lie. In order for punishment to serve as a deterrent it has to be swift because if it becomes lax then punishment losses its effectiveness as a deterrent. However, not everyone is in favor of toughness, it is an uneasy compromise, this is the era of responsibility, and the message is “don’t do the crime if you can’t do the

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