Within society, the majority of civilians are able to function and abide by laws that the government has set forth for the better of our well being. For the individuals that are not capable of living a lawful life, they are placed into a correctional facility for the deterrence of their crime. For many years, scientists have tried to understand and reduce the amount of criminal behavior that occurs in the United States. Criminology has been used to study criminal acts such as organized crime, and how effective the criminal justice system process is and what can be changed to better this Nation.
A world without rules and laws would surely be one of never-ending corruption and chaos. Therefore, it is safe to say that without criminal law, our well-being would be heavily threatened, and not to mention our lives. Criminals would be constantly enjoying their crimes without having to worry about the consequences of the law.
To further elaborate, let us take a look at a make-belief character called Jones. Jones has been on a killing spree for years, however the only problem is that law enforcement in his country is rather weak, and the investigation team has no sort of plan when it comes to detecting criminals or having strong leads. Jones is enjoying life, because he isn?t getting caught. Sooner or later, copy cats are on the rise and murder and crime is out of control in this region. Long story short, things take a turn for the better. A new task force is in control and they instantly catch on and convict criminals like Jones. Suddenly, the heinous crimes are forced to change momentum, and the crime rate drops rapidly. This just one of the areas of deterrence in dealing with crime, and why criminal laws are so important; if they are enforced, deterrence is a must.
According to the text in Chapter eleven, deterrence is ?a goal of criminal sentencing that seeks to inhibit criminal behavior through the fear of punishment,? (Schmalleger, F. Criminal Justice Today. Chap. 11. Pg. 404.)
If criminal laws enforce punishments, then the level of deterrence would be obviously noticed, preventing a possible criminal to perform a criminal action.
Retribution on the other hand is ?the act of taking revenge on a criminal perpetrator,? (Schmalleger, F. Criminal Justice Today. Chap. 11. Pg. 403.) As stated earlier, if criminals were not punished based on their crimes, then the world would be an unsafe place to live in. Therefore, retribution goes hand in hand with deterrence and retribution, which will be discussed in the next paragraph. Depending on the crime that one commits, their ?just deserts? will be received. In a nutshell, it would be unfair to give a death sentence so someone who had to kill someone in self-defense, especially is the attacker was using deadly force. Where as, someone who cold-heartedly murders people for the thrill of it all should be put away for the rest of their life.Therefore, the goal of retribution is simply the equilibrium of character and what is deserved.
The rehabilitation stage is the primary goal to why criminals are processed through the ?system?. ?The main idea derived from rehabilitation, is to correct the person and show he or she that the way they were living will not be tolerated. It shows men and women that their Government has not given up on them, even though they broke the law with no regards to their own government.? (Van Ness, 1997) The Rehabilitation phase can consist of out reach programs, drug and alcohol counseling, work programs, and education classes that will help the inmate receive his/her G.E.D.
The day the prison sentence has expired, the inmate will be released to a housing facility that will help each person find a job, and will introduce him or her back into society. Each resident that stays at a half way house, has responsibilities that must be accomplished every day. These responsibilities can be chores around the house. The rehabilitation phase is a long and daunting process that is not always successful. The entire operation of the criminal justice system is to correct and rehabilitate each person so they will perform better in society. ?Research shows that the majority of prisoners will return to prison within a year of being released for a crime that is similar to the last.? (Van Ness, 1997)
Based on observation with the way that the United States of America deals with criminals, it is obvious to the people of the public that the criminal justice system more than supports the aspects of deterrence, rehabilitation and restoration more than that of retribution. Why say that? Because too often do we see the likes of criminals like Scott Peterson and Charles Manson living off tax payers? money. Such criminals have countless evidence against them, and were placed on death row. However, due to either the law of the state concerning the death penalty at the time or simply the system, murders like these may very well die in prison and might never have to face death row directly.
Schmalleger, F. (2011) Criminal justice today: An introductory text for the 21st century (11th Ed.), Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, (Chap. 11. Pg. 404)
Schmalleger, F. (2011) Criminal justice today: An introductory text for the 21st century (11th Ed.), Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, (Chap. 11. Pg. 403)
Van Ness, D. (1997) Restoring Justice, Anderson Pub Co (April 1997)