Samantha A. McClain
Position Paper #1
September 12, 2013
The issue stated is, does punishment really work? If so, what types of punishments? What types of punishments are least effective? Starting out by observing what punishment is, will help out best. Punishment is a certain consequence that an individual may face to reduce the behavior from occurring. While punishment can be effective in some cases, you can probably think of a few examples of when punishment does not reduce a behavior. Prison is one example. After being sent to jail for a crime, people often continue committing crimes once they are released from prison. First, any behavior changes that result from punishment are often temporary. I personally believe that there are a lot of factors to determine this because every single person is different. Many offenders have social, psychological, or economic situations in which they do not care, or they do not know any better. Yes, a grown adult should know better, but if they were never taught, or they have psychological problems, they may not know. Punishment works for different people and different situations. A person who has had their first offense, an education, a job, and comes from a good background, prison will most likely be enough punishment for that individual. On the other hand, a person who has had multiple offenses, no education, no job, and a poor background, will most likely keep returning to prison, because this is not enough punishment for someone with this type of background. They feel as though they have nothing, and therefore do not try and be successful or work on change. Individuals with multiple offenses are most likely to serve their time, be released and return within a couple of weeks, months, maybe even days. I feel like I have hit this statement right on the nose, due to the fact that I know certain individuals with similar backgrounds. Let me explain:
A guy that I know comes from a good background, he...
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