Week 5 DQ 2 Crime and Punishment

Week 5 DQ 2 Crime and Punishment

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Some experts argue that people have been punished as an attempt to change conduct and deter crimes for thousands of years, with very little success; crime still continues to be prevalent in modern societies. Do you agree that we need a new paradigm for sentencing? If yes, provide details of what a new paradigm should look like. If you disagree, and favor the current punishment/deterrent schemes, provide support for your views that traditional approaches to crime and punishment are the most effective available.

Preceding to the 18th Century (1701-1800), punishments for offenders was a societal norm and the punishment techniques were quit barbaric and there were no real prisons or jails. It would not be until the American Revolution that the ideal of imprisonment would even become a thought. Prison building efforts would occur in three phases of American History. The Jackson Era would begin the widespread use of imprisonment and imprisonment and rehabilitative labor for crimes committed during the Civil War period. The Progressive Era, otherwise known as the Era of reform, would bring new ideals such as parole, probation, and sentencing. The 1960’s through the 1970’s the United States would see a huge expansion in Federal and State Facilities and would bring forth The Prisoners’ Rights Movements. Prior to the 18 th Century, “social punishments were devised to help order society” (Stojkovic & Lovell, 2013. Ch. 2.1). Various forms of torture for criminal punishments were used. However, the 18 th Century would bring forward the criminalistics theory of Utilitarian Caesar Beccaria. Beccaria presented his opinions on the “chaotic condition of criminal law” (Stojkovic & Lovell, 2013. Ch. 2.2) in his essay, “ On Crimes and Punishment ” (1764). Beccaria’s essay changed the criminal justice system. His view was that all crimes should be defined by laws and all laws should be applied equally to every member of society. These ideals are all a part of Beccaria’s Classical School Theory (the punishment should fit the crime). “The purpose of punishment is not to torment offenders, but to prevent offenders and the rest of society from committing crimes. Punishment, to be effective, must be prompt and certain and applied equally to all for similar crimes” (Stojkovic & Lovell, 2013. Ch. 2.2). He also argued his point that the death penalty was not a “legitimate nor necessary” form of punishment. His explanation for this theory was that “even if authorized by law, is an act of violence and barbarity that has no place in a civilized society” (Stojkovic & Lovell, 2013. Ch. 2.2).
CORRECTIONS IN THE UNITED STATES 3 Jeremy Bentham, also a utilitarian, “continued this thrust of reform by developing a systematic categorization of crime and punishment” (Stojkovic & Lovell, 2013. Ch. 2.2). His ideal was that the crime had to be controlled and that people were capable of making their own choices through controlled behavior. “Bentham saw the necessity for checks or sanctions to control behavior” (Stojkovic & Lovell, 2013. Ch. 2.2). He also felt strongly that the purpose of laws are meant to prevent crime and not for revenge. Bentham also argued that the “goals of punishment are to prevent recidi

Week 5 DQ 2 Crime and Punishment

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