Punishment or Rehabilitation?

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Running head: PUNISHMENT OR REHABILITATION?

Punishment or Rehabilitation?
Tanisha Denson-Hodge
University of Phoenix - Online
Survey of Justice and Security
CJA 500
Mark McCoy, Ed. D
Nov 18, 2006
Abstract

The debate between punishment and rehabilitation for criminal offenders has been an ongoing issue for many years. What is the true focus of our criminal justice system today? Some argue that it is to punish those that choose to disobey the laws of the land and indulge in criminal behavior, while others argue that its primary focus should be to rehabilitate these offenders and help them reintegrate into society while helping them become productive, law-abiding citizens; helping them leave that criminal activity in the past. Despite the debate, the issue still remains on which model is most effective in reducing criminal activity.
Punishment or Rehabilitation? When examining these two methods of eliminating criminal activity and dealing with the offender, all sides of the equation must add up. The method of punishment is one of the oldest and widely used models stemming back thousand of years when the prison systems were first introduced into society. The theory of punishment and its application were developed by analytical thinkers more than half a century ago and its use was not meant to be a justifiable means, but as a means of maintaining social order by the mere threat of it and the consequences behind it. In addition, punishment is also utilized as a means of “reforming” the offender and deterring them from criminal behavior in an effort to protect society as Hugo Adam Bedau, a world renowned philosopher, reflects in his journal on Punishment in the Stanford Encyclopedia. The idea of punishing an offender tends to be the majority opinion because many of us simply want to know that justice was served overall for the victim and/or their family. The punishment model includes; incarceration, physical labor, death (capital punishment), and



References: Adler, F., Mueller, G., & Laufer, W. (2003). Criminal Justice: An Introduction (3rd ed.). : McGraw-Hill . Bedau, H. A. (2005, February). Punishment. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 20, . Adler, F., Mueller, G., & Laufer, W. (2003). Criminal Justice: An Introduction (3rd ed.). : McGraw-Hill . Bedau, H. A. (2005, February). Punishment. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 20, .

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