Should the criminal justice system focus more on rehabilitation than retribution? #deterrence #criminal #justice

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Should the criminal justice system focus more on rehabilitation than retribution?

Once a criminal, always a criminal.

My younger was molested by our grandfather who swore he would kill her if she said anything. Well she did say something and did he go to jail? NO! The court declared him mentally ill and sent him to a hospital. He was in the hospital for about 4 months when he was finally released. He found my sister when he got out.
If he would have been imprisoned like the rapist he was, my sister would still be alive.

Akshita_712
omgitsme323
isaiah45
angiecrosby2
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You should punish criminals

I believe that criminals should be punished, because of their fragile mental state they need to be kept under control. I agree with the point saying that if the government pushed rehabilitation over correction potential criminals might think that acting violently is okay. Mass murders destroy the life of a lot of people with little to no sympathy, that is not right.

Akshita_712
omgitsme323
angiecrosby2

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Retribution deters crime

A retributive justice system deters crime by giving potential criminals a good reason not to commit crime. Focusing on rehabilitation would send the message that we are going easy on crime, reducing the effect of deterrence. In a study done by the National Center for Policy Analysis it was found that “15 crimes are eliminated for each additional prisoner locked up.” If this isn’t a good reason to stay retributive, I don’t know what is.

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The whole idea of punishment is retributive in nature

Punishment by its definition is the authorized imposition of deprivations—of freedom or privacy or other goods to which the person otherwise has a right, or the imposition of special burdens—because the person has been found guilty of some illegal defiance, that is usually associated with encroachment of other people’s rights. Anything outside this is secondary effect or consequence and not the basis of punishment.

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Should the criminal justice system focus more on rehabilitation than retribution?

Retribution only causes anger.

Taking away a persons humanity and respect can only do a few things to them. It may punish them a little but it will mostly make them mad. There is only so much a person can take before they become mad at the world. Them being mad at the world will cause them to mostly attack society again. Having a retributive criminal justice system since the 1970s has led to nearly 65% of all people who are released from jail or prison to return within the first five years.

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“Justice is the first virtue of social institutions.”

-John Rawls, A Theory of Justice. The first responsibility of the justice system is to ensure justice and to keep criminals from harming civilians, not to help them get a job and have a good life. When a person commits a crime they must have fair judgement and punishment for their actions, they must recognize that what they have done is wrong. Punishment is the tool for teaching criminals
I am not saying that we shouldn’t have any rehabilitation at all, for it does work in some circumstances, but the main thing that the justice system should be focusing on is retribution and punishment. Of course the best thing will always be a balance, a system that includes both aspects, but what if we had to choose only one or the other?
First, imagine a society with a system based entirely on rehabilitation. Someone commits a crime, and instead of going to prison they go to a rehab center, learn a trade, get their school paid for, and get help finding a job. What will ultimately end up happening is that many people see that criminals are getting rewarded, and they decide that it might be worth it to risk committing a small crime. Sure your recidivism rates might be extremely low, but you have to face legions of new criminals who realize that the benefits out-way the risks.
If we have a justice system that focuses only on retribution, you will have a much more just society. Punishments act as a deterrence to keep people from committing or recommitting crimes. You may not have a bunch of happy prisoners being released and going on to be a great benefit to society, but that is not the purpose of the justice system.
After reading through the comments on the affirmative side of this debate I have found many arguing that punishment is somehow “not fair”. The obvious truth is quite the opposite: when someone does something bad they get their just and fair punishment. This fulfills the purpose to satisfy justice and to ensure the safety and well-being of honest law-abiding citizens.

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Justice must take its place.

In 1972 Justice Thurgood Marshall wrote that “punishment for the sake of retribution is not permissible under the Eighth Amendment.” That is absurd. The element of retribution does not make punishment cruel and unusual, it makes punishment intelligible. It distinguishes punishment from therapy. Rehabilitation may be an ancillary result of punishment, but we punish to serve justice, by giving people what they deserve. Retribution ought to be valued above rehabilitation in the United States criminal justice system.

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It’s a useless waste of money and time

-Rehab makes life easier, what will stop the people below the poverty line from committing crimes to receive this free program? They already do for prison, but rehab is much more luxurious than prison.
-People shouldn’t commit crimes in the first place, so what use is jail if they aren’t being punished?
-Why should tax payers pay for the rehabilitation of a person that has committed a crime? People abiding by the U.S. laws shouldn’t be responsible for these people. If they want to go to rehab, people should choose if they want to or not. What is the point of jail if people go in knowing they will get it easy?

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Anonymous says 2013-03-30T16:55:21.350

I think that we shouldn’t make rehabilitaion more important thab retribution. They deserve to be punished because they knew what they did was wrong

Retribution does not exist in the criminal justice system. What does exist in a criminal justice system is punishment, and using the term retribution for the word punishment is a perversion of the definition of retribution. Even the etymology the latin word “retribuo” I pay you back is different than punishment.





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