Q&A: Retribution, Incapacitation, Deterrence, Rehabilitation, and Restoration?

Question by dingdong: Retribution, Incapacitation, Deterrence, Rehabilitation, and Restoration?
Which of these goals you think should be the primary goal of sentencing. State how the type of crime might change your mind on what the primary goal should be.

Here are the definitions:

Retribution is call for punishment based on a perceived need for vengeance. We think that people should receive what they deserve. This means that people who work hard deserve the fruits of their labor, while those who break the rules deserve to be punished. In addition, people deserve to be treated in the same way that they voluntarily choose to treat others.

Incapacitation, the second goal of criminal sentencing, seeks to protect innocent member of society from offenders who might harm them if not prevented from doing so. Incapacitation is also utilized, for example, in cases involving offenders who are deemed dangerous such as those guilty of murder and likely to commit grave and violent crimes unless restrained unlike retribution that punishes criminals.

Deterrence is compatible with the goal of incapacitation. Deterrence is a threat of punishment to convince people that criminal activity is not worth it. Specific deterrence seeks to reduce the likelihood of repeated offenses by convicted offenders, while general deterrence strives to influence the future behavior of people who have not yet been arrested and who may be tempted to turn to crime. Deterrence is to protect the public from the commission of such crimes by making it clear to the offender and to other persons with similar impulses that if they yield to them, they will meet with severe punishment.

Rehabilitation seeks to bring about fundamental changes in offenders and their behavior. This goal of rehabilitation is a reduction in the number of criminal offenses, wears deterrence depends on a fear of the consequences of violation the law. Community supervision can also benefit victims in certain ways. When an offender is sentenced to intense supervision through probation, they have the ability to pay restitution through employment. Other forms of rehabilitation through community supervision may also benefit a victim or their families such as programs such as one that was introduced in my county. The program is a group of victims called the Victim Impact Panel who talk to offenders that are convicted of drunk driving. These individuals are brought face to face with victims and their family members of drunk driving. These programs have high hopes of deterring individuals from committing such acts.

According to retributivism, when a wrong has been done, justice requires punishment. The scales must be balanced. The offender must be made to suffer a commensurate amount of punitive pain to the pain he or she inflicted on the victim. Justice demands equity of suffering.
Restorative justice, by contrast, is more interested in promoting healing and reconciliation than in measuring appropriate doses of punitive pain for particular crimes. What justice really demands is not the balancing of pain between victim and offender, but concerted action to overcome pain. It requires offenders to act in ways that will restore the dignity, autonomy and well-being of their victims, as well their own.

Best answer:

Answer by Uncle Pennybags
I think the primary goal should be incapacitation. Basically, no one really winds up in prison on a first offense, unless it’s a particularly big one. Most prisoners have many less severe priors on their record. They’ve demonstrated the willingness to victimize innocent folks again and again. For that, they need to be removed from society for the society’s good.

Rehabilitation should be a secondary goal. It should be the goal to give the prisoner the skills necessary to make his way on the outside without resorting to crime again. This is more than just job skills I’m talking about here. There should be skills taught on resolving conflict situations, ordinary life skills, money management, etc.

Lastly, I’m a big believer in 3 strikes and you are out laws. If you rack up 3 different felony convictions, they should lock you up for a long time before you are eligible to be released. Clearly that person has demonstrated they are a menace to society and have no problem victimizing others again and again.

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

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