Punishment versus Rehabilitation
Institutional and Community Corrections
March 22, 2011
Punishment and rehabilitation are a major part of the criminal justice system and will be effective in controlling crime if there is a way to incorporate the two factors to work together. Punishment and rehabilitation are for individuals who commit acts of crime. These are two of the four acknowledged objectives of the criminal justice system along with deterrence and incapacitation. Punishment is used to create deterrence and rehabilitation is used to reduce recidivism. Punishing offenders and then following it up with rehabilitation through community supervision can be the source of helping deter crime. Punishment and community supervision should be based on the type of crime. If the appropriate sentence is issued upon an offender, it can help deter them from future criminal activity.
Deterrence of Crime
Deterrence is a primary goal to instill fear on the offender so that they will not commit future crime. Punishing offenders to instill fear in society is teaching society a lesson and showing the consequences of committing crime. Punishment has always been imposed based on the idea that it will deter individuals from committing crime or repeating criminal acts (AK Larrabee 2006). Incapacitation is the most common form of punishment. Punishment through incarceration is a temporary fix to crime while the offender is confined. The maximum sentence of life in prison and the death penalty has been debated on whether they are deterrence to crime (AK Larrabee 2006). Certain crimes will benefit from rehabilitation than from punishment, such as non-violent drug related crimes. Criminals who commits act of crime to support their drug habit need treatment more than punishment. Juvenile Rehabilitation
In the 2006 national poll sponsored by the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, 87% to 11% United Stated voting public is in favor of rehabilitative services for prisoners as opposed to a punishment-only –system (Krisberg & Marchionna, 2006:1). Citizens are willing to put their money where their preferences are: they are willing to pay for juvenile rehabilitation and early intervention programs. Punishment and Modern Society
One might argue that "treatment versus punishment" is a false dichotomy; that it is not necessary to abandon the goal of rehabilitation in order to pursue, or even to emphasize, the goal of punishment (Garland 1990). That argument is certainly reasonable but we are more prepared to accept it in practice than in principle. In practice, the difference between punishment and treatment is often unclear, particularly to those on the receiving end; a prison that is literally all of one and none of the other is probably impossible as well as undesirable (Garland 1990). We believe that, when the concepts are understood properly, it can be shown that a philosophy emphasizing punishment is more logically consistent, and even more true to the same general underlying values (such as humanitarianism, respect for the individual, human dignity, justice, fairness, decency, mercy, and compassion), Than a philosophy emphasizing rehabilitation (Garland 1990). Later we will suggest that many of the activities which now occur under the heading of "programming" might still occur in a punishment-oriented prison (Garland 1990). We do not object to treatment that is voluntary, is separated from punishment, and is not a privilege unavailable to those who are not in prison. We believe that even in a punishment model, inmates have as much (or as little) right as anyone else to a helping hand from government (Garland 1990). The license to punish is not a license to deny to convicts any benefits to which they would be entitled if they were not in prison (with the exception of denials that are absolutely necessary for reasons of security) (Garland 1990). We also believe, however,...
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