Punishment and Sentencing
Punishment of offenders serves many purposes, such as retribution, deterrence, rehabilitation, incapacitation, and restoration. These purposes or philosophies guide legislators in setting up sentences that are most effective in reducing crime. Judges achieve these purposes of punishment by imposing sentences ranging from fines and probation to imprisonment to the death penalty. For example, one judge may impose a sentence of imprisonment on an offender for the purpose of deterrence, while another judge may use imprisonment for the purpose of incapacitation.
The purposes of punishment gain and lose supporters, depending on scientific advancements, political popularity, and advocacy by interest groups, including crime victims. For example, restoration, which emerged in Australia and New Zealand, is used in U.S. juvenile courts to reintegrate juvenile offenders into the community. As restoration gains supporters, it is being used in other settings as well. The state of Vermont now uses this approach in adult criminal courts too. One could argue that in the reaction against harsh retributive punishments of the 1980s, especially of juveniles, both juvenile courts and politicians were ready to try a different approach.
To prepare for this Discussion:
Focus on the five purposes of punishment and how they might influence sentencing and crime reduction.
Select two purposes of punishment from your course text.
Reflect on the implications of the purposes you selected on sentencing and crime reduction.
With these thoughts in mind:
Post by Day 2 a brief description of the purposes of punishment you selected. Then describe two specific sentences that reflect the purposes of punishment you selected and explain why. Be specific. Finally provide your thoughts about the effectiveness of each purpose of punishment for reducing and preventing crime. Be sure to justify your thoughts.
Punishment of offenders serves many purposes, such as r