Thinking about the issue of punishment gives rise to a number of questions, the most fundamental of which is, why should offenders be punished? And what are the objectives for the punishment. Some of the objectives are deterrence, retribution, restitution, rehabilitation, and the reason for such punishment. Deterrence is most effective at stopping crime that is planned or premeditated. Sometimes the goal is to deter the individual from repeating the behavior; other times it is to deter others from engaging in a similar behavior.
An “eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth” punishment applied with the belief that offenders should suffer similarly to their victims this is the retribution punishment. Restitution is applied with the belief that offenders should repay their victim’s loss in money or services. The offenders should pay back to the victim for crimes that he has made to change a person life. He has to see that he cannot get away with committing crimes. Rehabilitation is used more frequently with juveniles; it is applied with the hopes of helping the person resolve his disorder or disease that may contribute to crime.
The punishment is their so that the person can choose more of a better life in which he decides to live, or he may choose a better path. The concept of punishment has been theorized by moral philosophers, social theorists, and criminologists, When a court imposes a punishment on an offender, it often tries to balance the sorts of reasons for punishment noted earlier, but sometimes certain purposes of punishment dominate other purposes The third perspective on punishment is offered by criminologists and policy makers, who focus on penalties for offenses and policy concerns relevant to the punishment of offenders.
There are differences in the state and federal punishments laws of punishment such as with the federal laws the penalties and range from long or short prison sentences in federal prison to include fines. Federal laws are enforced by the United States Government Agencies and also passed by the United States Government Agencies. There are criminal laws involved, usually dealing with crimes against the government and laws that just provide fines. State laws are those that are passed and enforced by the state. They cannot contradict the Federal laws and apply only to the specific state.
The state enforcement agencies also have a duty to insure that Federal laws are not being broken. Most criminal laws are state created and penalties include fines and short or long prison sentences. Probation is a sentence with certain conditions that must be followed. If any of the conditions, such as no drug use, are violated, your probation officer will notify the court or prosecutor. The size and cost of America’s prison system has skyrocketed during the last few decades, largely as a result of laws and policies that put more offenders behind bars and keep them there longer.
Yet recidivism rates remain stubbornly high, and crime still is a major public concern. State policy makers across the nation are asking whether soaring prison budgets are the best path to public safety. The federal prison population has reached record levels, that a high proportion of prisoners are non-violent drug offenders, and that racial disparities in sentencing and the proportion of lower-level drug offenders are increasing. Sentencing disparities is sentencing offenders in which those committing the same crime receive different sentences.
Sentencing disparities are usually based on race, gender, region, or socioeconomic status and there are some grapple with this problem that must be solve. Many of the studies concluded that race had a direct effect on the in-out decision (in other words, the decision concerning whether the offender should be punished in a penal institution or out in the community) and that this effect remained even after the inclusion of controls for prior record and crime seriousness.
Benefits of sentence-reduction programs, such as good-time laws and early parole release, include promotion of discipline within prisons (because inmates are motivated to engage in good behavior in order to earn or avoid losing good time) and the reduction of prison overcrowding. It is said that most offenders are released from prison before serving their full sentences and that indeterminate sentences produce gross sentencing disparities because they allow judges too much discretion.
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