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Which principles does the criminal justice system use?

Which of these four criminal principles deterrence, incapacitation, retribution and rehabilitation does today's criminal justice system appear to focus on?

Rehabilitation is a nice ideal but rarely works. Statistics show that up to 63% of criminals have prior arrest records. (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1989) This shows that criminals are not being rehabilitated but rather are just being held temporarily until they commit crime upon being released. Deterrence is mostly ineffective. Criminals know that even if they are caught there is a good chance they will receive a light sentence or not be sentenced at all. In many cases, life in prison is comparable or preferable to the life the individual has in freedom so going to prison is not much of a deterrent at all.

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Which of these four criminal principles deterrence, incapacitation, retribution and rehabilitation does today's criminal justice system appear to focus on?
Rehabilitation is a nice ideal but rarely works. Statistics show that up to 63% of criminals have prior arrest records. (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1989) This shows that criminals are not being rehabilitated but rather are just being held temporarily until they commit crime upon being released. Deterrence is mostly ineffective. Criminals know that even if they are caught there is a good chance they will receive a light sentence or not be sentenced at all. In many cases, life in prison is comparable or preferable to the life the individual has in freedom so going to prison is not much of a deterrent at all.
In America, justice boils down primarily to incapacitation and retribution. I would argue that retribution is our primary goal and incapacitation is the means that we achieve the goal. Because of our strong Judeo-Christian heritage we have inherited the idea that a criminal should be punished for his crime. The idea is that all choices have consequences and that human beings are rational and ...

Solution Summary

This solution examines the criminal justice system in America. The criminal principles of deterrence, incapacitation, retribution and rehabilitation are examined and a discussion of which principle is used by the criminal justice system is included. Over 700 words of original text along with links to informative websites for further research.

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