Punishment It Has Always Been Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

I do, however, contend that appropriate rehabilitation programs will make this at least unlikely.

On the other hand, one must acknowledge that such rehabilitation programs are not always available and often not appropriate to the specific person having committed the crime. Hence, what I am suggesting is that more research be commissioned to create better ways of responding to various criminal offenses. Offenders of certain petty crimes, for example, can be required to commit a number of hours to appropriate community services along with being admitted to rehabilitation groups or programs.

While I therefore do not doubt that danger to society can be limited by removing certain offenders from the streets, I highly doubt that it is an appropriate response to all criminal activity.

Furthermore, what length of incarceration would be deemed appropriate for the removal of any given criminal to ensure that he or she does not offend again? Surely, estimating this is at least as arbitrary as estimating the initial likelihood of reoffending. According to this argument, the only possible way to ensure that society is absolutely safe from reoffenders is to incarcerate all of them for life. This is perhaps the most impractical solution of all.

A far more practical solution is creating a number of diverse programs that can be used to help offenders not only see the error of their ways, but also the benefits of rehabilitating. In this way, society gains not only from greater safety as a result of rehabilitation, but also from the fact that such offenders now become productive citizens.

In conclusion, I therefore believe that no singular solution is possible in response to criminal activity. While it is certainly desirable for some criminals to be removed more or less permanently from civilized streets, this is certainly not the case in all criminal activity. In addition to all other considerations, the state simply does not have either the space or funding to house first-time, petty, and hardened criminals for the rest of their lives.

Instead, a far more effective solution would be to create a variety of systems to respond to a variety of offenses. While many such systems are already in place, I think state funding could far more effectively be applied by researching both existing and future systems of responding to crimes. Society will benefit far more from rehabilitating especially youthful offenders than from incarcerating them. Creating productive citizens from rehabilitated offenders will not only be better for the moral and legal codes of civilization, but will also provide for a more economically sound basis for responding to crimes. Prisons tend to eat into a large amount of taxpayer money. Rehabilitation programs, on the other hand, are more likely to be economically viable by returning law-abiding citizens to…

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