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Retribution - tough will the punishment be It makes a...

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Retribution Robertson (1989:129) contends that one reason for putting people in prison is to punish the offender. The state is placed in the position of "applying revenge on behalf of the victim." This is the "eye for an eye" philosophy. Deterrence Most of our police forces operate under a philosophy called deterrence theory. Deterrence theory contends that if the public knows the consequences of deviance, many individuals will not commit a crime. "Through punishment, corrections serve to deter the offender from deviating again and it scares others who might be tempted into crime" (Robertson, 1989:129). There are three aspects of deterrence theory. In order for deterrence to be successful each aspect should be true. 1. The individual has to know what the law states. Without clear knowledge of the law, the individual cannot know he/she is in the process of violating the law. 2. The potential offender must know what the punishment is. How
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Unformatted text preview: tough will the punishment be? It makes a difference to a potential bank robber when planning a holdup whether the penalty is 1 year or 20 years in prison. Likewise, is a white-collar criminal is relatively sure that they will get a light punishment, they might be more inclined to embezzle from a bank or to use substandard building material. 3. Will an offender receive punishment? If punishment is certain, then the philosophy of deterrence comes closer to achieving its goals. If, on the other hand, one is relatively sure that they will not be punished, deterrence is not achieved. 4. Critique of Deterrence Theory : The current system of criminal justice demonstrates none of these characteristics. The law is too complex, the severity of punishment depends on the jurisdiction (city, state, federal), and it depends on social class....
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