Punishment Philosophy Paper

Punishment is the authoritative infliction or imposition of unpleasant or undesirable outcome upon a specific person or group of people. The outcome is in response to a specific behavior or action deemed threatening or unacceptable to specific norms. There are many philosophies regarding punishment, my individualistic personal preference in regards to these philosophies especially the ones based on my notions of the relevant purpose for the punishment.

In the retributive theory, the purpose of the punishment is to seek retribution from the offenders for their crimes. There should be a moral blame allocated to the offenders for their past actions.  There are some elements of significant thinking process that proceeds from the crime to punishment unlike Vengeance concept of punishment that  perceives punishment as personal infliction of pain to a victim who has inflicted some injury or harm to the person inflicting pain. Vengeance is personal and sets no limits to the amount of punishment. It involves a specific particular emotional tone and pleasure in the suffering of the other person. It has inappropriate means and it is neither applicable nor appropriate in the justice, medical and custodian model.

In Deterrent concept to punishment has its goal in seeking best dissuasion of most people from committing the trivial offences. Hence people are deterred from the crimes when they refrain from committing them since they have an aversion to the cruel consequences associated with the crimes; the punishment is thus regarded as the draconian punishment, such as the capital punishments.  This theoretical concept of punishment unlike others, such retributive, does not aim at rehabilitating an individual offender. It does not give a second chance especially if the means is death.  I would not prefer this; it is very hard, nearly impossible to determine whether the type of penalty or the severity of the penalty has any significant effect on the successfulness of the penalty the concept of punishment should aim at inflicting or imposing pain-that should be related to the crime hence suppressing the chances of future occurrence of the crime among the offenders.  Unlike retribution, there is no moral link between the punishment and guilt in deterrence.  Deterrence does not view punishment as a question of accountability.

On the notion of appropriate purpose of correction and appropriate means for the accomplishments of the purposes, a more complete, appropriate and conclusive conceptual theory of punishment, the rehabilitation concept is my best preference. It involves a detailed examination of the crime or the offence and the offender putting into considerations the concerns for the offender’s social background and punishment. In this theoretical concept of punishment philosophy, the appropriate purpose of the correction is evaluated by the professionals and the subsequent means for the accomplishment of the purpose is appropriate. Punishment should have significant reformative as well as rehabilitative effect on the offender; these are ensured in the rehabilitative theory of punishment.

In the justice model, there is the child welfare rehabilitation model which uses legal sanctioning and punishment and mainly provides interventions to the offenders. This diverts the minors from legal processing.  Others like corporate rehabilitation model, modified justice, justice and offences control rehabilitations models.  This ensures that the punishment levied on the crime or an offence fits the offender with the offender’s needs not the offence.

Incapacitation; involving the removal of the offender from the society in attempts to protect the public from future offences by the offender, may be one of the interventions in the rehabilitation models. The offender will therefore associate the isolation with the offence decreasing the chances of the offender offending in the future. This notion is reflected on the punishment policies such as the mandatory minimum sentence, the three-strikes legislation and the truth in sentencing in the justice model as in the restorative justice that emphasizes on the support to both the offenders and the victims and see the social relationship as a rehabilitative vehicle geared towards provision of formal support and control to the offenders.

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