In: Social Issues

Submitted By rnloney1
Words 680
Pages 3
The previous measures looked at ways of changing people’s behaviour, either by removing the need or desire for crime or by making it more difficult to do. However, one of the oldest responses has been to punish. Currently in Britain this can involve fines, community service or imprisonment. In the past, imprisonment was simply the precursor to another form of punishment but now it is an end in itself.
Punishment can be effective either instrumentally or expressively. It can either reduce crime itself or it can be retributive, expressing society’s outrage. Crime can be reduced in three separate ways. Offenders themselves are discouraged from committing future crimes because they don’t want to undergo the punishment again; Mrs Thatcher instigated the ‘short, sharp shock’ regime in young offenders’ institutions in the 1980s. Some states in America go further and make the time in prison physically unpleasant. The rest of the community is deterred because they see the result of criminality.
Prison can also bring about reform or rehabilitation of the prisoner through education, training or behaviour modification courses so that the ex-prisoner can integrate successfully into social life on release.
Prison also works because the prisoners are not free to commit crimes against the general public. America uses the ‘3 strikes’ rule to remove habitual offenders from the community. Other countries use other forms of punishment to incapacitate offenders. America also uses the death sentence, a rather permanent solution, chemical castration for sex offenders and Muslim countries, in particular, still remove the hands of thieves so they cannot steal.
At times the focus is on rehabilitation and the reduction of future crime, at others societies seem to be keener on punishment for its own sake. Offenders have breached the social code and society is allowed to take…...

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