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Theories of crime and Punishment

Discuss and analyze the theories of crime and punishment.


Theories of crime and Punishment


  1. Discuss theories of crime and punishment.

Punishment is provided by the government for the maintenance of law and order in society. Two major philosophies can be specified when theories of crime and punishment are discussed:

·        Utilitarian: this theory has the belief to provide punishment to the offenders who have committed the crime. This intention is to deter or discourage the happening of wrongdoings in future. The motive is to initiate a venture in creating a society that is free from crime. The punishments could be general as well specific (Zaibert, 2016).

·         Retributive: this theory aims on the crime to impose punishment. This theory’s focus is upon wrongdoing and not upon the social benefits. The aim is to make the wrongdoer suffer on the grounds that he has made the people suffer (Bregant, Shaw, & Kinzler, 2016).

2. Compare the Pennsylvania and auburn prison system

The two prison systems defined below have been construed on a single belief system that the criminals or prisoners learn and reinforce what the other criminals do. Hence, isolation is must.

  • Pennsylvania prison system: this system of prison involved rehabilitation of the prisoners. An isolation and solitude is framed wherein the prisoners can echo their crimes to initiate reformation for themselves. The effort is on turning the citizen to be honest and free from any future wrongdoing (Rubin, 2017). 
  • Auburn prison system: auburn prison system is developed out of the Pennsylvania prison system. In this system the prisoners are allowed to be with the group in the day hours but on a silent note. In the night the prisoners are shifted to confinements on solitary basis. But the salient feature is the maintenance of silence in both the times (Adams, 2016). 

3. Identify the sentencing goals of corrections

The sentencing goals of corrections are:

  • Punishment: depending upon the seriousness of offence, imprisonment or supervision through probation and parole is determined for the offenders. 
  • Rehabilitation: treatment and educational opportunities are provided to the offenders with a view to rehabilitate them. The list of programmed offered include behavioural, religious, substance abuse and mental health (Clear, Reisig, & Cole, 2018).
  • Deterrence of crime: the goal attached is making the criminals deterrent from committing the crime again in future. The aim is to set an example for the future time to prevent any re-offending. 
  • Incapacitation: this involves placing the criminals in seclusion instead of punishing them. The ability for the criminals to commit any further crime is snatched. .
  • Preparing for entering again in society: several vocational trainings, behavioural theories, reunification with family, required treatments etc. are provided to the criminals (Hyatt, & Andersen, 2018).

4. Ethical challenges in the prison system

  • Prisoners when not allowed to meet their families and kept in same place. This makes them fall into the homosexuality situation (Stensland, & Sanders, 2016).
  • The cases of rape are highly evident.
  • There is huge mistreatment that is done with the children of the prisoner’s that are either delivered in the prison or come with the prisoners. Even the food and facilities that are provided are not adequate.
  • The prisoners are treated with immense abuse both physically and emotionally (Coughlin, Lewis, & Smith, 2016).
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