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Identify Any Two Theories of Punishment and Explain How You Will Use Them in Changing Behavior of an Individual

Identify Any Two Theories of Punishment and Explain How You Will Use Them in Changing Behavior of an Individual
Identify Any Two Theories of Punishment and Explain How You Will Use Them in Changing Behavior of an Individual

Identify Any Two Theories of Punishment and Explain How You Will Use Them in Changing Behavior of an Individual

Governments have several theories to support the use of punishment to maintain order in society. Theories of punishment can be divided into two general philosophies: utilitarian and retributive. The utilitarian theory of punishment seeks to punish offenders to discourage, or deter, future wrongdoing.

The retributive theory seeks to punish offenders because they deserve to be punished. Under the utilitarian philosophy, laws should be used to maximize the happiness of society. Because crime and punishment are inconsistent with happiness, they should be kept to a minimum. Utilitarianís understand that a crime-free society does not exist, but they endeavor to inflict only as much punishment as is required to prevent future crimes

Utilitarian Theory

The utilitarian theory is "consequentialist" in nature. It recognizes that punishment has consequences for both the offender and society and holds that the total good produced by the punishment should exceed the total evil. In other words, punishment should not be unlimited.

One illustration of consequentialism in punishment is the release of a prison inmate suffering from a debilitating illness. If the prisoner's death is imminent, society is not served by his continued confinement because he is no longer capable of committing crimes. Under the utilitarian philosophy, laws that specify punishment for criminal conduct should be designed to deter future criminal conduct.

Deterrence

operates on a specific and a general level. General deterrence means that the punishment should prevent other people from committing criminal acts. The punishment serves as an example to the rest of society, and it puts others on notice that criminal behavior will be punished.

Specific deterrence means that the punishment should prevent the same person from committing crimes. Specific deterrence works in two ways. First, an offender may be put in jail or prison to physically prevent her from committing another crime for a specified period. Second, this incapacitation is designed to be so unpleasant that it will discourage the offender from repeating her criminal behavior.

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Identify Any Two Theories of Punishment and Explain How You Will Use Them in Changing Behavior of an Individual

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