Does Punishment Deter Crime? Crime control is a dilemma, and one of the oldest problems that society deals with. In social science, the belief is that punishment and imprisonment are two basic tools to control crime. The deterrent effect of punishment and imprisonment is difficult to impose on any person, but if the punishment is more severe and harsh, the crime rate in any circumstance will be lower. If someone thinks of the consequences of any type of criminal activity that will result in spending any amount of time in prison, this should deter potential offenders from any type of criminal activity.
Any rational person should have constructive pursuit of goals and values for their own life. Retribution: The oldest justification for punishment is to satisfy the need for retribution. Retribution is an act of moral vengeance when society makes the offender suffer as much as the victim of the criminal act. Many people think that retribution does not reform the offender and still think that vengeance is a reason for punishment but that is society’s revenge for a moral wrong.
The idea to find a balance of an injustice by an equality of the said injustice sums up the principle of revenge. The severity of penalty for crime should be reasonable and proportional to the severity of the crime. The concept is common to most cultures throughout the world and many documents reflect this value in the different world cultures, but a judgment if a punishment is appropriate for a crime varies between cultures and individuals. Islam lays down four types of punishment for enemies of God and the crimes committed by all the seven convicts do not call for the death sentence, he noted, but did not say what punishment their crimes deserved. ”(News Agency, Iran) The level of punishment should be balanced to the severity of the crime. This does not necessarily mean that the punishment should be equal to the crime. According to some people, the severity of a crime is determined by the amount of harm, disadvantages and moral imbalance the crime caused. Retribution does not look for results but asks only what is morally right. ”(Wilkens, Pease)) Recidivism: Recidivism is the repeated or habitual relapse into crime. Criminal offenders often commit the same crimes after their incarceration upon their return to society. This behavior commonly known, as recidivism is an important issue as the public is concerned with the cost-effectiveness of the prison system. The public is therefore divided in their opinions whether long-term or short-term sentences will reduce recidivism rates.
Deterrence: One deterrent factor is the idea that punishment should be severe enough that will prevent a person to fall into the habit of committing crimes. If punishment to a crime is swift, potential criminals will see the cause and effect of crime and punishment. If punishment will deter a person from committing a crime or a person is unable to commit further crimes because of previous punishment that will help to ensure a decrease in crime rates. Capital punishment is a specific deterrent as a dead person is not able to