Justifications for Punishment in Modern Society

1630 Words Jul 17th, 2018 7 Pages
Provide the justifications for punishment in modern society. Punishment functions as a form of social control and is geared towards “imposing some unwanted burden such as fines, probations, imprisonment, or even death” on a convicted person in return for the crimes they committed (Stohr, Walsh, & Hemmens, 2013, p.6). There are four main justifications for punishment and they are: retribution, deterrence, rehabilitation, and incapacitation. There is also said to be a fifth justification of reintegration as well.
Retribution is what most commonly referred to as the “just deserts” model that says the punishment should match the “degree of harm a criminal has inflicted on their victims” (Stohr, Walsh, & Hemmens, 2013, p.6). In other words,
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Reintegration’s goal is to use the time criminals spend under correctional supervision as a means to prepare the, to be able to reenter/reintegrate back into free society as well equipped as possible (Stohr, Walsh, & Hemmens, 2013, p.10). It is not too far from rehabilitation, but can be more realistic because it focuses on concrete programs such as job skill training or experience building rather than just changing an offender’s attitude.
Describe the history of corrections in the United States.
Explain how the mission of a jail is much more diverse than the mission of a prison. A prison has a mission and role that has to be played within society. Prisons are for criminals who have been convicted and have already been sentenced. The average stay is usually 33 months where they hold people for state or federal authority and, depending on the particular prison population being served and the capacity of any given facility, they serve to incapacitate, deter, rehabilitate, punish, and reintegrate (Stohr, Walsh, & Hemmens, 2013, p.81). On the other hand we have jails, which have existed much longer than prisons and as such has their missions been ever changing. As with prison, their mission is to incapacitate (even the un-trialed), to deter, to punish, and even to rehabilitate. However, a jail’s mission is much more diverse than a prison’s, especially today. Jails are typically local and/or community institutions that hold people
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