What Are The Purposes Of Punishment? Essay

1957 Words Aug 12th, 2016 8 Pages
Question 3: What are the purposes of punishment? Which purposes of punishment do you think are most prominent in guiding legal decisions in the United States? Punishment is associated with seven purposes: general deterrence, individual deterrence, and incapacitation, and retribution, expression of moral outrage, rehabilitation, and restitution. These purposed fall under various approaches to punishment including utilitarian, retributive, and restorative approaches.
One purpose of punishment is deterrence. There are two different types of deterrence. There is that there is hope that the punishment of someone else will scare other potential law breakers from committing crimes in order to avoid similar treatment, this is known as general deterrence. It also is used as individual deterrence which is where the individual who committed a crime will not engage in future crimes to avoid further punishment.
A few of the purposes of punishment are to help society as a whole. One purpose that does this is incapacitation, due to the criminal being confined society many feel safer. Another is retribution, this is important as society believes that offenders should not benefit from their crimes, they should receive what is justly deserved. Lastly, punishment can be used as a means of relief from the feeling of anger or hurt that result from being victims of a crime. This goes along with society feeling satisfied that the offender has paid for what they did and acquired what they…

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