Punishment Philosophy

Application of justice is done to serve several control functions. However, not all forms of punishment are justified because they include deterrence, incapacitation, and retribution amongs others. Justice, custodial and medical fronts abound as the sectors, where these forms of punishment are applicable. In my opinion, deterrence stems as the best punishment model because of what it offers in comparison to other methods of punishment. Several forms of deterrence abound and they include partial, general, marginal, and specific deterrence.

This essay explores deterrence as the best method of punishment.

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As mentioned earlier, four main branches of deterrence abound specific deterrence that operates on the notion that effectiveness of punishment is on that particular individual’s future behavior. In this method, recidivism is employed in measuring the deterrent value of punishment amongst prior offenders. General deterrence operates on the idea that punishing some offenders deters other people from committing the same crime. Thirdly, partial deterrence operates on the notion that the threat of sanction has some deterrent despite the fact that sanctions do not result in law abiding behavior. Lastly, it is marginal deterrence that explores effectiveness of general and specific forms of deterrents.

Deterrence operates on the notion that sanctions have some effect on human behavior. Notably, a question is asked under this philosophy whereby it is questioned whether legal and extra-legal sanctions have the capability of reducing deviance and achieving conformity. It should also be noted that the deterrent effect of punishment is felt when its actual imposition or fear of its imposition results in comformity. Research asserts that punishments have impact of deterring a misconduct, especially when they are severe, swift and certain in their application (Koritansky, 2012).

According to Foucault (2012), punishments also play a critical role in achieving instrumental conduct. For instance, it can be mentioned that it abounds as deliberate actions that are applied with intention of achieving an explicit goal. It is also applied to have potential offenders having a minimal commitment to deviance.

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Research asserts that when deterrence is employed in the context of the penal reform, it is usually in reference to increasing the severity of sanctions (Koritansky, 2012). These include violent crimes, drug trafficking and terrorism. Various reasons explain why this is the best punishment method. First, deterrence is better than retribution because tries to reduce the occurrence of crime beforehand. This happens through the sanctions imposed that limit a would-be offender from commiting the crime (Foucault, 2012). Deterrence is better than incapacitation because it does not necessary entail the use of force or lethal means to get an offender to conform. Notably, incapacitation is harsh in some fronts because it sometimes leaves an offender nursing injuries. Lastly, deterrence is better than rehabilitation since it ensures that a potential offender is kept away from the possible crime.

In conclusion, various forms of punishment abound under the philosophy of punishment. However, deterrence abounds as the best method of punishment because of the doctrines it focuses on. As discussed above, deterrence operates on the notion that imposing of sanctions plays a significant role in reducing crime rates as it restricts the would-be offenders. Various forms of deterrence abound and they include specific deterrence, general deterrence, partial deterrence and, finally, marginal deterrence. Deterrence abounds as the best form of punishment because if focuses on dealing with crime beforehand. It does not focus on rehabilitating deviant behavior.