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Usually, there are five major goals of corrections distinguished: retribution, incapacitation, rehabilitation, deterrence and restoration. In this research paper I will try to analyze these goals, as well as the efficiency of the current correctional programs implemented for their achievement.
Retribution is perceived as a morally acceptable response to crime. This concept was introduced back in the ancient times and today its level is usually different, depending on the severity of committed crimes. Retribution principles are often criticized due to the fact that jurisdictions mostly follow a set tariff, which often results in different important circumstances not being taken account. It can lead to unjust decisions, such as paying of the same fine for an unemployed person and a millionaire.
Deterrence is usually contrasted with retribution, as it defines punishment as a kind of threat aimed at deterring people from committing crimes in future. It is often argued that deterrence doesn’t achieve its ultimate goal, as offenders usually don’t pause to consider the future punishment before committing a crime, which is why it is practically useless.
Incapacitation, alike deterrence, is also aimed at preventing offenders from future crimes, but usually in a physical way. For instance, imprisonment physically doesn’t allow to commit crimes when being under constant monitoring. Another example is cutting off a hand of a thief, which not only incapacitates the thief, but also deters others from the same action.
Rehabilitation is aimed at restoring people to useful life, which is based on the assumption that people are not constantly criminal. It’s aimed at preventing habitual offending – criminal recidivism. The last goal, called restorative justice, is aimed towards taking responsibility for the committed crimes by the offenders. According to it, criminals should repair the harm they’ve done – by apologizing, returning money or taking other actions.
Although the goals of corrections are well thought-out, it is necessary…