Two Types of Criminal Deterrence Essay

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There are two different types if deterrence, the first is classified as specific deterrence. The goal of this category of deterrence is to lessen the probability of having a repeat offender. The three strikes law is an example of one of the methods that is used to assist this category of deterrence. The other category of deterrence is general deterrence. This category focuses more on future offenders. General deterrence attempts to positively influence would be offenders and stop the crimes before they happen. (Schmalleger, 2003, p. 406)

A stricter sentence for lesser crimes is an example of specific deterrence. The example used on pages 406 and 407 in Criminal Justice Today. Schmalleger writes, "Few traffic tickets would have to be …show more content…

Such a view finds little support today. Expiration requires the offender to work off his guilt; he must be purified through suffering. The essence of the expiratory view is that in suffering his punishment, the offender has purged his guilt, has paid for his crime, and that his account with society is therefore clear.(Kamier).

The focus is on the past crime with the attempt to wipe the slate clean. These ideas largely stem from religious influences on our culture. However, a deeper psychological explanation has been argued to exist, underlying the offenders need for expiration. Guilt is a state of tension which gives rise to a need for the removal of this tension. From the time we are children we are conditioned to expect this relief through punishment.

Whilst society may offer the chance of expiration, it obviously cannot demand it as the desire for true expiration must flow from the defendant himself. (Miller).

The view that has gained support, whilst theories of punishment such as deterrence and rehabilitation have come under increasing attack, is that we punish criminals primarily because they deserve it. The Criminal Justice Act 1991 followed a White Paper which proclaimed that the aim was better justice through a more consistent approach to sentencing, so that convicted criminals get their just deserts. Just deserts theorists have tended to follow

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