Punishment aims

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  • Created by: rachel
  • Created on: 17-05-13 18:40
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  • Aims of Punishment - Do they work?
    • Reductivist (Utilitarian)
      • Rehabilitation
        • Modest aims - to provide assistence
          • Focus on assisting not curing
        • Prisons are places of punishment but also education, hard work and change.
          • Punished whilst supported to turn their back on crime
            • lower crime, fewer victims and safer communities
            • Prison should not be a place where convicts can fritter away hours on end watching satellite television in their cells
          • Argued against the “Victorian” approach of “just banging up more and more people for longer without actively seeking to change them” Breaking the Cycle: Effective Punishment, Rehabilitation and Sentencing of Offenders
        • Crime caused by social, psychological or biological factors that need to diagnosed and treated.
        • HM Prison statement of Purpose "our duty is to look after them with humanity and help them lead law-abiding and useful lives in custody and after release"
        • Difficult  to know how long the sentences will be due to parole and therefore lack of clarity in rehabilitation sentencing.
        • All down to what type of offender as to whether they are going to "want" help or not
    • Retribution
      • Punishment justified as it's deserved.  "just desert"
      • Courts should not give a custodial sentence unless it was so serious that neither a fine alone nor a community sentence can be justified for the offence.  (CJA 2003)
      • Backward looking - justified because it is deserved - not as a means to an end
        • Some people in prison commit offences to go back there so is it a punishment? Varies. Can never work for everyone
      • Just deserts / desert theory
        • How do you measure "seriousness"
        • Punishment justified as it's deserved.  "just desert"
    • Denunciation
    • Restoration
      • Two wrongs don't make a right
      • Offenders can take responsibility for their actions and address the victims needs
      • Religious and moral influences
    • Theories
      • An expressive institution that upholds the moral order (Durkheim)
      • An economic mechanism to regulate the capitalist labour market  & an instrument of class domination (Marxist theories, eg Rusche & Kirchheimer
      • A form of disciplinary governance that permeates all aspects of modern societies, regulates and controls social life (Foucault & Cohen)
      • A major institution that embodies a society’s cultural traits (Elias)
      • A way of identifying, controlling and managing risky populations in the most efficient way possible – the New Penology (Feeley and Simon)


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