Essay Deterrence Theory of Crime

1021 Words 5 Pages
Deterrence theory of crime is a method in which punishment is used to dissuade people from committing crimes. There are two types of deterrence: general and specific. General deterrence is punishment to an individual to stop the society as a whole from committing crimes. In other word, it is using the punishment as an example to “scare” society from precipitating in criminal acts. Under general deterrence, publicity is a major part of deterrence. Crime and their punishments being showing in the media or being told person to person can be used to deter crime. Specific deterrence is punishment to the individual to stop that individual from committing other crimes in the future. This type of deterrence is used to teach the individual a …show more content…
All things have their problems. Contemporary Theorist believes that, yes deterrence may stop some people but for other is causes a backlash effect. The authors of Criminology: Explaining Crime and Its Context explained backlash effect like this, “…stiffer penalties will generate more rather than less deviance among some segments of the targeted population” (Brown et al., P148, par. 3). A study by Gary Lafee and some of his colleagues showed how the backlash effect works. They results of their study showed that deterrence did occur but the backlash effect was much more. This study shows that punishment might stop some criminals, but not all of them are afraid of punishment (Brown et al., 2010, p 148-150).
Here recently, a story about hate crimes has been in the news. Two men from Pennsylvania were convicted for beating an “illegal” Mexican to death. The two young men, Derrick Donchak and Brandon Piekarsky, each got nine years in prison for this hate crime. Both Donchak and Piekarsky were still in high school when the crime was committed. The men were said to have beating the Mexican, Luis Ramirez, using racist comment, as he was walking through their neighborhood. After Ramirez had fallen to the ground, the two Pennsylvania men continued to kick the victim in the head (CNN, 2011). According to MSNBC (2011), Myesha…