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Five Goals of Punishment - Analysis of punishment in legal system.

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Five Goals of Punishment - Analysis of punishment in legal system.

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  • April 13, 2008
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The five traditional goals of punishment are the following retribution, deterrence, rehabilitation, restoration and incapacitation. Each of these punishments reflects features of criminal punishment.

In the retribution goal the punishment is imposed by a sentencing judge. It is intentionally given as way to get back at the offender and offer some closure to the victim. The offender is given notice and an attorney is made available. The punishment to the offense is thought to be equal to the offense. Punishment is imposed to the offender in the form of a fine, imprisonment or probation. As a result the offender can spend a good part of their life in prison. Penalties are not sought for their own sake, because this is not the era of retribution; rather they are meant to be corrective by being conducive either to the reform of the sinner or to the good of society, which becomes more peaceful through the punishment of sinners (Mahoney, 2007).

Deterrence is used as a tool to prevent others from committing similar crimes. The sentencing judge overemphasized protection of the public, denunciation and deterrence (Thomas, 2007). In this case the judge will imposed sentence and make it clear for others to see that if they do the crime, they will also have to do the time. The principal sentencing purpose in vigilante justice cases like this must be general deterrence. While the prisoner may have learned his lesson, other people out there need to learn the lesson that the justice system is the proper forum for people taking responsibility for what they have done" (Herald, 2007). Punishment will for the most part be equitable to others who committed. It is not imposed on the person who committed the crime it is aim to others who are thinking on committing a similar crime.

The Rehabilitations goal is to reform the criminal offender the punishment is imposed by a judge who believes this person can be rehabilitated. The idea behind rehabilitation programs that impact on...