Deterrence, Incapacitation, And Rehabilitation : Explain How The Severity Of Punishment Can Potentially Deter Criminal Behavior

1164 WordsDec 10, 20145 Pages
Ashlyn Nelson CRST 100 / SOCI 270 Dr. Dennis December 11, 2014 Short Essay Questions 40. Chapter 14 Deterrence, Incapacitation, Retribution, and Rehabilitation: Explain how the severity of punishment, the certainty of punishment, and the promptness of punishment can potentially deter criminal behavior. Is one more important than the other? Why or why not? Severe punishments, such as long stints in prison and the death penalty, are designed to pose as threats or warnings to those who consider committing a crime. It also seems that, theoretically, more severe punishments, such as longer prison sentences, would help deter crime at least by keeping the offender locked away, thus “deterring” them from committing more crime. Certainty of punishment would serve to deter potential offenders with the threat of a definite, undesirable penalty, should they be caught and convicted. Certainty and severity of punishment both play on an offender’s sense of self-preservation, in hopes that potential offenders may not commit crimes to protect themselves from undesirable consequences. Promptness of punishment theoretically serves to deter crime by playing on not only the potential offender’s self-interest, but on the idea that public attitudes against the offender will be more severe soon after the crime is committed. The certainty of punishment appears to possibly be the most effective deterrent to crime. Offenders may not be daunted much by the threat of severe punishment, as

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