The Purpose of Punishment
People have varying viewpoints on the purpose of punishment. The five purposes of punishment are incapacitation, rehabilitation, deterrence, retribution, and restoration. Consider the following scenario:
John Smith was robbing a 7-11 convenience store when a customer tackled him from behind and his gun went off. The clerk was killed, and Smith was found guilty of capital murder.
On the basis of the scenario, answer the following questions:
- Determine how each of the five purposes of punishment influences the correctional processes and correctional facilities. Which purpose of punishment would be best utilized in this instance?
- How are a correctional facility’s structure and procedures influenced by the purpose it is trying to achieve? For instance, a facility that aims to achieve rehabilitation will be designed and run differently than a facility that aims to achieve incapacitation.
- Do you think it is appropriate for a state to punish someone solely for retribution? Also, discuss which purposes you believe capital punishment aims to achieve.