Discussion Board #1 Response
*Alton Terry *
Respond with 150 words and 2 references with 1 being the textbook
Cullen, F. T., & Jonson, C. L. (2017). Correctional theory: Context and consequences (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. ISBN: 9781506306520.
According to the text, deterrence theory is based on the notion the people consciously try to avoid pain and seek pleasure (Cullen & Jonson, 2017). This notion comes from the classical school of criminology created by Cesare Beccaria and Jeremy Bentham. Deterrence theory explains why individuals make choices to offend or not and why certain places in society have higher or lower crime rates. In order to reduce crime, correctional systems have to be organized to maximize the pain of crime and to minimize its benefits. The deterrence theory aims to scare people straight. It suggests that people will commit crimes if it benefits them. Deterrence occurs when people choose not to commit a criminal act due to the fears of costs or unpleasant consequences imposed on them. This is also a “scared straight” strategy. The deterrent effect analyzes how much crime will be saved through the threat and application of criminal sanctions. There are two types of deterrence, and they are general and specific. General deterrence involves punishing an offender so that others will not consider committing criminal activity. Specific deterrence punishes an offender so that the offender will not become a habitual criminal.
There are two pros of the deterrence theory. One shows that there is evidence that general deterrence in the criminal justice system does a better job of catching offenders. The other one shows that criminal sanctions have a deterrent effect on some offenders. There are also two cons of the deterrence theory. One shows that there is no consistent evidence that punitive-oriented sanctions such as prisons, community-based programs, harsh sentences, and harsh living conditions reduce recidivism. The other con shows that deterrence theory appears to be based on a limited understanding of criminal behavior. In all, correctional deterrence theory seems to be shaky when it comes to evidentiary foundations. It is suggested that when it comes to designing the content of interventions with offenders, there are better options that exist that are waiting to be found. Deterrence theory is found in the Bible, especially in Proverbs 27:12. This message says, “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty” (New International Version). This message shows that when people take a minute and think about their future and the consequences, they refrain from offending, but those who ignore the signs of punishment and proceed to offend, they will be subjected to whatever punishment that is imposed on them.