The Theory Of Rehabilitating Fender Shifted Into Focus More

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As the range of fields that study crime grew, the theory of rehabilitating the offender shifted into focus more prevalently. The aim of the theory of rehabilitation is to reform the offender, that is to say, rid them of their criminal ways. Cohen sees this task to be outside the capabilities of the justice system. The myriad of components that lead an individual to crime whether they are economic, psychological or otherwise, is too complex for the justice system to be able to grok fully. Cohen equates this project to the reconstructing of society as a whole. In order to truly be able to rehabilitate a single offender society itself might have to adjust in order to prevent this particular criminal from reoffending. Critics of the…show more content…
Rehabilitation is arguably the most paternalistic of the three approaches. The state is declaring the self that the criminal has created is unfit for society and thus he needs to change. Humans have rights as autonomous agents to self-rule, that is determine the person they wish to be. When the state endeavors to rehabilitate, it is attempting to mold the individual to conform to the general morals of society. The three philosophical approaches to the justification of punishment have each shown to have merit as well as flaws. I will now move on to providing my proposed resolution to the issue of punishment. The overarching theme amongst these three theories is that each attempts to safeguard society. Retribution attempts to achieve this by appealing to the general call of the community as a whole. This is to say that it expresses in the most natural way the community’s condemnation for the crime committed. Cohen outlines that pure retribution, an eye for an eye literally, would not be a just practice due to it neglecting to acknowledge the two important facets of punishment, deterrence and rehabilitation. If a driver was driving negligently and crashed his vehicle inadvertently killing a pedestrian, it would do no good to have this driver crushed by a vehicle as well. For this would aid in providing minimally more future deterrence than a just sentence; let alone be cruel
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