Does Punishment Deter Crime?

1773 Words8 Pages
Running Head: DOES PUNISHMENT

Does Punishment Deter Crime?
Kylon D. Shipp
SOC 120 Week 6 Checkpoint
University of Phoenix

A question that all criminal justice professionals ask themselves is whether or not our justice system is up to the challenge of doing what it originally set out to do: “protect society from criminals, to punish those who commit crimes, and to make criminals better able to return to society once they have finished their sentences” (Topsfield Foundation, 1996). Although the American system of justice has made great advancements in meeting these goals, one fact that exists is that placing criminals in prison does not benefit everyone. There are five goals of contemporary sentencing, and before we can discuss
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If these convicted criminals are getting out of prison and engaging in more serious criminal offenses, then how is this beneficial to society or the criminal? The fact of the matter is that it’s not. However, I do believe that placing criminals in prison can prove to be more beneficial if some programs that promote healthy lifestyles are implemented in all prisons. One problem that leads to criminal behavior is substance abuse. If we can cut back on the amount of teens using drugs and alcohol, then we will greatly impact juvenile delinquency rates, which would in turn impact the number of delinquents who go on to lead lives of crime in adulthood. We must push towards the establishment of drug treatment programs and community based educational programs instead of financing the construction of more jails and prisons. “In fact, research in a number of disciplines demonstrates that social investments can produce more significant reduction in crime than expanded prison construction” and “that spending on drug treatment would reduce serious crimes fifteen times more effectively than incapacitating offenders through mandatory prison terms” (Mauer, 2002). Another scholar states that “…since the 1970s, the number of prisons and incarcerated human beings [has] doubled while social services, jobs, and housing disappear. The government 's response to problems is to lock people away while eliminating the means for
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