Crime And Punishment
The aims of punishment:
- Protection- Sending a person to prison keeps them away from the oppotunity to commit crime and so protects society. People are fearful if rapists, murders, paedophiles, drug dealers and terrorists are living in their communities.
- Retribution- this means 'getting even' with the person that has committed the crime ("eye for an eye"
- Deterrence- This means to put people off committing crimes if they believe they will be caught and dealt with seriously.
- Reformation- People who have committed crimes may require help to understand that their behaviour is unacceptable and that they need to change their attitude and become responsible members of society.
- Vindication- Offenders must be punished to show that the law must be respected and is right.
- Reparation- The offender must do something to make up for the crime they have committed for example a vandal maybe ordered to clean up an area in town (Community Service)
Types of Punishment- Electronic tag, Fines, Community Service, Probation and Prison.
Arguments for the Death Penalty
- Retribution- terrorists and murderers deserve to die - 'a life for a life'
- Deterrence- the death penalty deters people from doing horrendous crimes because they know punishments are severe.
- Protection- dangerous people removed from society. A life sentence many only last 15 years.
- Finance- It costs taxpayers thousands of pounds to keep prisoners alive in prison.
Arguments against the death penalty
- Mistakes- innocent people have been executed.
- Protection- putting a murderer in prison also protects society.
- Deterrence- there is no evidence the death penalty is more of a deterrent than life imprisonment.
- Reformation- Reformed criminals can have a very positive effect on society.
- Right- only God has the right to end a life.
Christian views on Capital Punishment
Some christians support capital punishment using teachings such as "an eye for an eye"... "a life for a life". They see the death penalty as a deterrent that helps prevent serious crime. Other christians doubt whether capital punishment is a deterrent and oppose it because of the risk that innocent people might be executed and how it removes the possibility of repentance. They believe "the Lord gives and the Lord takes away"
Prison and Definitions
Religious beliefs about prison
All major religions accept the need for prisons. Relgions support the idea of seeking to reform offenders so that on release they can be responsible and law- abiding members of society. They support the idea of work and education so that inmates can learn worthwhile skills. Some christians support the idea of prison reform.
- Prison reform- A movement that tries to ensure offenders are treated humanely in prison.
- Civil Law- disputes between private individuals or groups. Matters include disputed wills, divorces and arguements between landlords and tenants.
- Criminal Law- is relevant when the state law has been broken. The police gather evidence and then forward it to the Crown Prosecution Service.
- Religious Offences- Religions have their own sets of rules and laws and breaking them would be seen as a religious offence, for example blasphemy.
- Parole- When a prisoner is released early because they have behaved well and accepted their guilt . They are monitered to ensure they don't re-offend.
- Secure training centre- purpose built buildings for young people to focus on education and rehabilitation.
- Crime against the state- An offence that is damaging the goverment or a country.
- Sin- The breaking od a relgious or moral law.