When discussing reasons for punishment, one will find there are four main theories on which these reasons are based retribution, which looks to the past and deterrence, incapacitation and rehabilitation which are concerned with the future and are often thought of as utilitarian. These past and future philosophies hold different aims for punishment whilst the past wants to punish the crime, the future actually aims to achieve something by punishing, like reform. When exploring these theories further, it becomes clear that no single theory can adequately justify imprisonment and each has flaws when standing alone. In this essay I aim to explore each of the theories and discuss why alone they do not work and consequently discuss a balance of the theories, which would adequately justify reasons for punishments
[...] One example of this is R v Hatch he was continuously arrested and punished for assaulting young boys and for the buggery of young boys, and it was stated that he was likely to exhibit the potential for this behaviour in the future, and that he will continue to be a danger to young boys. Consequently, he was sentenced to life imprisonment. However, this is in itself an inaccurate form of punishment, because it is difficult to predict who will offend again, and therefore how can heir incarceration be justified. [...]
[...] Chris Sarno, Ian Hearnden and Carol Hedderman Criminal Law Text and Materials Clarkson and Keating, P26 - 27 R v Williams  Crim.L.R 558 (Court of Appeal, Criminal Division) R v Williams Page The Guardian, 16th September 2000 Page 1 Speech by the Home Secretary on Sentencing Reform, National Probation Service inaugural conference, 5th July 2001 Criminal Law Text and Materials Clarkson and Keating Page 37 John Halliday's Report of a Review of the Sentencing Framework for England and Wales, “Making Punishments Work” John Halliday's Report of a Review of the Sentencing Framework for England and Wales, “Making Punishments Work” R v Hatch  1 Cr.App.R.(S.) 22 (Court of Appeal, Criminal Division) Criminal Law Text and Materials Clarkson and Keating Page 56 Criminal Law Text and Materials Clarkson and Keating Page 58 Principles of Criminal Law Andrew Ashworth Page 17 Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate, Research Findings No “From Offending to Employment: A study of two Probation Schemes in Inner London and Surrey”. [...]
[...] Often only half the sentence is completed, and a criminal can be let out for good behaviour. It has been stated in John Halliday's report on sentencing that short sentences are ineffective and those prison sentences of less than 12 months have little meaningful impact on criminals and their behaviour, and consequently if sentences are shortened or not fully served, we could be left in a situation where a lot of imprisonments make no difference to crime. John Halliday suggested that a dangerous offender could remain in custody for the full duration of the sentence, and furthermore the courts could impose up to a further 10 years of supervision this may well deter people from criminal acts. [...]
[...] Punishment with only retributive elements is ineffective. If everyone who committed moral wrongs was punished to exact vengeance, then there is a high chance that the crimes could be repeated the criminal has not been deterred from crime. Furthermore, if a criminal is denunciated, and social values are thus reinstated, for the criminal to take heed of this he would have to understand and comply with these values, which he has in fact already broken out of. Deterrence, unlike retribution looks to the future of the offender, and anyone thinking of offending. [...]
[...] A better known strand of retribution would be the deserts theory we punish criminals because quite simply they deserve it. This can be seen in the situation of Sarah Payne there were calls far a “Sarah's the British version of the US's “Megan's which would give parents full access to details of sex offenders in their area. The News of World newspaper supported this campaign by printing the names and photographs of convicted sex offenders, however the Home Secretary rejected this law. This “naming and shaming” approach to punishment would fit in with the paedophiles getting what they deserved, as well as with the final element of retribution, censure and denunciation. [...]
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