Crime and Punishment

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Why do people commit crimes?

Poverty, incapable of controlling actions, pressure/blackmail, revenge, anger,scapegoating, no sense of right or wrong, want others to suffer, past experiences/background, to make a point or self defence.

Why do punishments exist?

safety for society, prevent chaos, teach lessons or to establish justice.

The aims of punishment- what society is trying to do when it punishes an offender (somebody who has broken the law and therefore 'offended' society.

The theory of protection- Punishments are used to protect society from somebodys anti-social behaviour. This punishment takes many forms, the most obvious being imprisonment. Also this type of punishment can be designed to protect the offenders against themselves.

The theory of retribution- If somebody does something wrong then they should recieve a punishment that is fitting for the crime they have committed. 'An eye for an eye.'

The theory of deterrence- If a person who commits a crime is punished then they will not (hopefully) commit such a crime, or another crime, again. Also the punishment they recieve will put others off (deter them from) comitting crimes.

The theory of reform- People who commit crimes often need all sorts of help. The punishments that they recieve should be of a kind that will prevent them from committing further crimes, and make them responsible citizens who have something to offer society.

The theory of vindication- in order that society is able to function securely, crime must be punished so…


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