First Time Offenders

Topics: Criminology, Crime, Sociology Pages: 4 (1121 words) Published: September 25, 2012
In this essay, it will be demonstrated that the imprisonment of first offenders is an unnecessary form of punishment for both the offender and community, particularly because the majority of first offenders commit petty crimes. It will be argued that there are alternative methods of punishment – such as restorative justice - which are more beneficial and cost effective. Additionally, imprisoning first offenders may lead them to being influenced by habitual offenders. Imprisonment serves a number of purposes: to punish the offender in a way that is fair in all circumstances, to discourage the offender or other persons from committing the same offence, to make aware the community discourages the sort of conduct the offender was involved in, and to protect the community from the offender. However, since most first offenders commit summary offences (which are minor offences), there is little evidence that imprisonment is of value. This essay will argue the imprisonment of first offenders is unnecessary because addressing the underlying causes of an offender’s behavior, rather than applying a ‘one size fits all’ approach has been proven to sustain more realistic outcomes for the community – and the individuals who commit such offences.

Paragraph 1:
Definition/Purpose of imprisonment
Paragraph 2:
First offenders usually commit petty crimes, therefore the crimes are not serious enough for the offenders to be imprisoned Paragraph 3:
Imprisoning first offenders is costly – the government should focus directly on imprisoning habitual offenders who are more of a threat to society Paragraph 4:
There is a possibility of the offenders being influenced by worse offenders (this point is going to be explained through the symbolic interactionist theory) Paragraph 5:
There are alternate methods of punishment such as restorative justice, which are more beneficial and cost effective than imprisonment Conclusion:
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