Punishment Philosophies

1704 WordsJun 16, 20117 Pages
Punishment Philosophies Abstract The processes by which justice is applied are determined largely by proposed punishment philosophies. These express various concerns and arguments regarding appropriate sentencing and treatment. The philosophy of rehabilitation dominates the proceedings of juvenile courts, and is heavily scrutinized at an adult level, or when the criminal behavior of juveniles continues to accelerate, but when successful is most beneficial for society. The appeals process advances the fair practice of law, helps ensure the rights of due process, and continues to clarify and define justice and the law. Punishment Philosophies…show more content…
One of the most widely applicable philosophies is deterrence, which is the concept that the threat of punishment should prevent criminal activity. Deterrence can be experienced in one of two ways; the first is specific deterrence, which occurs when an offender becomes less likely to reoffend as a result of punishment that he or she has undergone, while the second, more preferable form is through general deterrence, by which individuals abstain from criminal activity due to the recognition that others have been correspondingly punished. The psychological effectiveness of deterrence largely depends upon three factors: Celerity, severity, and certainty. The celerity, or swiftness with which punishment is imposed, is critical in the sense that individuals are inherently less likely to be concerned with negative consequences that will be experienced at a more distant time. Essentially, the immediate benefit of a crime is perceived to be more real than those future consequences. Related to this is the certainty or likelihood of punishment; if types of crimes are perceived to go largely undetected or unpunished, the potential deterrence is diminished.
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