Deterrence, Rational and Restorative Justice Theories Essay

1911 Words8 Pages
This paper will illustrate three theories; deterrence theory, rational choice theory, and restorative justice theory. It will outline in detail the policies, and the connections between theory, research, and policy.
Deterrence theory can be outlined as “principles of certainty, severity, and celerity of punishment, proportionality, specific and general deterrence” (Burke, 2009). In order for the punishment to be effective it has to be certain, swift, severe. Certainty is more important than the severity in deterring crime. Deterrence theory confirms that if the punishment contains these three elements people will rationally calculate that there is more to be lost than there is to be gained from crime (Gordon, 2010). Deterrence functions
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Many of the nation’s officials believe that criminals do not think about possible punishment when they commit a crime. Rational choice theory is linked to deterrence theory; it came into play after rehabilitation was ineffective, and this theory grew out of the same utilitarian philosophy as deterrence (Pacotti, 2005). Rational choice theory can be defined as a person reasons before taking an action, also balancing the cost and benefits of the situation. The focus is upon situational opportunities, and victim factors (Gordon, 2010). The model consists of individuals desire utility (e.g. happiness, wealth), operating within their means individuals attempt achieve their desired goals, the rational choice is the one that obtains desired goals (e.g., the most utility) for the lowest cost (Pacotti, 2005). It fails to explain expressive non economically motivated criminal activity such as vandalism (Burke, 2009). The policy that links these two theories together is boot camps, and scared straight for young offenders scare tactics, also disciplining their behaviour. “Programs like correctional camps are to act as deterrence to first-time offenders from offending again. Incapacitation means confinement, restricting the offenders' freedom and activities. Rehabilitation works through physical military type training and educational awareness about a variety of issues facing teens today. Punishment is giving

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