Does Punishment Work?
Punishment like all other intervention such as alcohol and drug abuse program has the likelihood of three possible outcomes. It can work as expected, have no impact, or have an adverse effect. Punishment does not work for most offenders because it does not explicitly demonstrate to the offenders how to act or how to avoid situations where misbehavior is more probable. Additionally, punishment alone does nothing to transform an individual and neither does it abhor criminal beliefs and values. According to research, no meta-analytic review has found that punishment reduces recidivism. Contradictory, punishment oriented programs have been seen to create unforeseen negative impacts and in some instances increase recidivism (LaFollette 491).
This text explains that for punishment to work, it has to be associated with empirically established methods that promote criminal transformation. Some of the validation for punishment discussed includes just deserts, rehabilitation, deterrence, and incapacitation. The author suggests that rehabilitation is the most empirically supported of the four, followed by incapacitation, then deterrence and lastly just deserts. Nonetheless, the effectiveness of the outcomes of punishment is also dependent on the type of criminal. For example, while low-risk offenders can be deterred, high-risk offenders seem to remain indifferent to sanctions designed at deterring their future actions. Addit…
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