- Term Papers, Book Reports, Research Papers and College Essays

Does Punishment Deter Crime?

Essay by   •  February 12, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  1,568 Words (7 Pages)  •  1,744 Views

Essay Preview: Does Punishment Deter Crime?

Report this essay
Page 1 of 7

Before we can come up to conclusions on the affectivity of punishments to deter crime, we need to look into the nature of crime. To do this, we must understand deviance. Is deviance in society a one-off or is it a natural occurrence. Is it psychological or sociological? What drives people to commit acts of crime? Are people born with the gene of deviance that can be triggered any time?

Criminology is a branch of the social sciences that takes on the study of crime. Since it is a social sciences, crime is studied as a social phenomenon looking primarily at it's causes, consequences, incidences, forms, as well as the structures within society that are in place to prevent, deter and regulate as well as react to crime. Deviance is mostly studied as an individual occurrence that has come into effect by social, genetic and psychological factors, stresses that lead individuals to commit acts heinous to the eyes of society, of a particular civilization. Trait Theories look into these said factors to try and find out and give explanation to individual deviance. Today, the advent of psychological sciences has put mental health under a microscope. Many scientists consider deviance as a mental abnormality when an individual loses grip on reality and descends to madness.

In a world that recognizes individual human rights, in a world that has seen the ill effects of war, committing a crime is almost synonymous to becoming an outcast. As members of this society, we grew up in understanding the stealing is wrong, that taking the life of another is heinous and that, if we have quarrels and if there is inequality there are proper venues like the courtroom. We are also used to the idea of Policing and Investigating and the government keeping our interests of living in a peaceful society working towards this mandate. Hence we have police officers ready to respond to crime

Does Punishment Deter Crime? 3

at any given time. We have soldiers ready to fight for us and what our government sees as detrimental to the peace of our world. We have telephone numbers to call to get emergency response for quick access to protection, we have counselors to call to keep our mental and social being in check, and we have various federal agencies looking to protect society as crimes become more elaborate and dynamic.

Still, crime occurs as regular as some of us are born genetically volatile while various social factors like immigration and economic displacement as well social dysfunctional of an individual come into place. When young women find no support and have no place to go, they are vulnerable to predators and many prostitute themselves for economic reasons never mind the social stigma. Others find that dealing illegal drugs and working with a well structured crew brings power and wealth despite the usually bloody endings. Many of those who made it into the corporate ladder find discontent in what they achieved or their lot, hence corporate crimes happens. A many other just feel injustice so they go on and avenge their anger, a killing for a kill. Still, there are those whose socio-psychological addictions and tendencies drive them to commit rape, repeatedly as well as kill, repeatedly; abhorrent behavior that inspires fear, hatred and the need to give justice to the victims as well as put the individual in a place where he cant hurt or touch anyone he could victimized anymore.

For this we look at Penology or prisons. Society of today has improved the practice of putting outcasts out of society, the prison system does not only serve as punishment, and it is also a place to rehabilitate. Prisons form a conventional arm of the justice system of any country with a prison sentence serving as legal accepted

Does Punishment Deter Crime? 3

punishment for an act of crime. A prison, a penitentiary or a correctional facility is a place where an individual's freedoms are curtailed and those who committed acts of crime pay for their sins against their victims outside of society. The prison system of America is not just for criminals however. Those who are suspected of a crime before trial may be placed there especially those who are at risk of flight or committing a more serious act. Sometimes before a trial they can be let out by paying bail, an amount that secures temporary freedom. In some countries prison systems are used by corrupt governments to curtail political activities and dissension within the ranks. In 2006 the numbers of inmates in US prisons numbered up to 2.5 million. Violent and property crime has steadily declined since the 90's according to the US Statistics Bureau. About 25% of those imprisoned in the world belong to US prisons as there is only an estimated 9.6 million incarcerated the world over.

For the American Justice system though, Prison systems are not just a place for retribution, Prison systems allow for rehabilitation. Currently, several prison systems have been redesigned to allow for those incarcerated having access to education. In the heart of the argument is that while those incarcerated are criminals, man by nature if they are not natively criminal but driven to act by economic or social situations, if given the chance to 'restore a useful life' would eventually find himself becoming a responsible citizen upon reintegration to society if rehabilitated properly. Many Americans are not happy with the way rehabilitation takes place --- the maintenance of criminals in prison systems are paid for in increasing increments by the American taxpayers, including at

Does Punishment Deter Crime? 4

times education. Understand that there are different



Download as:   txt (9.2 Kb)   pdf (113.9 Kb)   docx (12.5 Kb)  
Continue for 6 more pages »
Only available on