5 Main Goals of Punishment

Topics: Criminal law, Crime, Criminal justice Pages: 2 (438 words) Published: February 20, 2011
Five Main Goals 1
Five Main Goals of Punishment
In criminal justice there are five main goals of punishment. These goals are retribution, deterrence, rehabilitation, restoration, and incapacitation. Punishment is almost like revenge to those who have disobeyed the law.

Retribution is defined as getting even with the perpetrator. Victims of a crime are unable to take things into their own hands and punish the perpetrator, that is where the state steps in and punishes them for the victim. The state punishes an offender to make them suffer. “Just deserts” is defined as someone getting what one deserves and reflects the retribution philosophy. An example of retribution would be a person who kills someone and is sentenced to death.

Deterrence is defined as dissuading someone from committing anymore crimes. Many people feel that deterrence is a reason why someone should be punished. It may be argued that using punishment as a deterrent has the fundamental flaw that human nature tends to ignore the possibility of punishment until they are caught. There are two types of deterrence, general and specific. General deterrence is defined as preventing potential criminal behavior by making examples of offenders openly. Specific deterrence is defined as punishing individual offenders to prevent their further criminal behavior. An example of deterrence is community service.

Rehabilitation is defined as using treatment to restore an offender. It is stated that offenders are approached as if they were mentally ill, neglected, or underprivileged. Treatment begins with diagnosing the offenders needs. This treatment is made to correct Five Main Goals 2

behavior. An example of rehabilitation is providing education for the offenders to they can have a career once leaving prison.
Restoration is defined as repairing the damage to victims, community, and offender caused by the offender’s criminal act. This is normally done by either one cleaning up what they have done...

References: http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Punishment#Deterrence
Allen, Harry E (2010) Corrections in America An Introduction. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall
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