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Retribution vs Rehabilitate Debate

Some people argue that sentencing should be done as retribution to an offender while others insist sentencing should be done to rehabilitate the offender and return him or her to society. Select one of the two positions and make an argument for or against it.

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Please see response attached, which is also presented below. I hope this helps and take care.

RESPONSE:

Hi,

Interesting topic! Let's take a closer look through discussion, examples, and an article for further reading and research. This response is arguing against retribution theory.

1. Some people argue that sentencing should be done as retribution to an offender while others insist sentencing should be done to rehabilitate the offender and return him or her to society. Select one of the two positions and make an argument for or against it.

First, retribution does not seem to work as shown in the crime reports and recidivism rates. According to Bacik (n.d), the idea that it prison decreases crime simply does not stand up to analysis. In a very recent analysis of the decrease in Irish crime rates, O'Donnell and O'Sullivan asked the question 'Does more prison mean less crime?'. They referred to recent US research by Spelman (2000) suggesting that an increase of one per cent in the prison population would reduce the crime rate by between .16 and .31 per cent. Applying this calculation to Ireland, one would expect a decrease in crime of between 6.1 and 11.8 % between 1995-99. Since the decrease was actually 21% over this period, they suggested that other factors were to play in explaining reducing crime rates. In particular, they point to research that shows that economic boom is a huge factor in reducing crime rates, in particular property crime (always the bulk of crime figures). They concluded that 'the factors that may have resulted in the decrease in crime are not primarily related to criminal justice policies, but rather to labor market and health policies. Increased employment and consumer expenditure, allied to a growth in methadone treatment, would ...

Solution Summary

Some people argue that sentencing should be done as retribution to an offender while others insist sentencing should be done to rehabilitate the offender and return him or her to society. This solution provides arguments for one side of the retribution vs rehabilitat edebate.

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