Crime & Punishment

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What should be the goal of a modern justice system?

Punishment
1
6%
Rehabilitation
13
76%
Protection
2
12%
Other (Please explain)
1
6%
CowboyNeal/NukeWales
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 17
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Feud
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Crime & Punishment

Postby Feud » Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:37 pm

A few days ago I had a discussion with a friend about social contract theory (yes, we are nerds) and we got to discussing the theories of criminal justice. There were three main ones we focused on, but couldn't agree on which one we thought should be the main goal of a modern justice system. They were:

Punishment- That the purpose of the system should be to punish offenders, in hopes that it the person will no wish to do it again, and/or it will dissuade others from committing similar crimes.

Rehabilitation- That the purpose should be focused on correcting what ever went wrong with the person, with the goal of returning them as a functional member of society as quickly as possible.

Protection- That most people know right from wrong, and that most criminals choose to violate law and disrupt social order, and so the goal should be to protect those willing to live according to law from those who are a danger to them.

I was curious as to what the forums thoughts were, and with the xander trial going on, this seemed like a good chance. The question really focuses on what the primary goal should be, as most would agree that all aspects should form a part of it, depending on the crime and criminal.
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Postby Jordy... » Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:53 pm

on the lead!

I think that the focus should be on rehabilitation, but even more on a better society, wich in effect will have less crime. There have been studies that came up with the statistic that when people pray or meditate in a ciry there is less crime, also more green means less crime.
Perhaps a better worksphere means less crime, perhaps better food means less crime, perhaps a better distribution of wealth means less crime, etc... I hope you get the point.
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Re: Crime & Punishment

Postby MikeTheWookiee » Sat Aug 29, 2009 12:43 am

Feud wrote:Protection- That most people know right from wrong, and that most criminals choose to violate law and disrupt social order, and so the goal should be to protect those willing to live according to law from those who are a danger to them.

You could argue that the opposite is true - for instance one of the reasons for locking the mentally ill up is for protection - ours from them and theirs from us, and it's usually for the cases when they don't know right from wrong.
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Postby Feud » Sat Aug 29, 2009 1:21 am

True, but a mental asylum isn't the same as a prison. Being mentally ill isn't a crime, and so while we sometimes confine them for their own good it's not the same as locking up a prisoner.

But I guess the argument could be made that part of incarceration is to protect the criminal from their own destructive choices.
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Postby Montyphy » Sat Aug 29, 2009 2:10 am

While possibly touching on rehabilitation but I guess mainly falling outside the scope of a justice system, I would consider prevention to be the main goal i.e. focus on resolving the causes of people turning to crime while rehabilitating offenders to reduce repeat offences.

Edit: Just re-read the thread and it would seem I just agreed with Jordy... :shock:
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Postby Why? » Sat Aug 29, 2009 5:54 am

Feud wrote:True, but a mental asylum isn't the same as a prison. Being mentally ill isn't a crime, and so while we sometimes confine them for their own good it's not the same as locking up a prisoner.

But I guess the argument could be made that part of incarceration is to protect the criminal from their own destructive choices.


Over 1 in 6 prisoners in the USA has a documented mental disease. Most of the others have behavioral problems that are most likely irreversible. Once a person reaches their mid-20's they aren't gonna change much. They can correct some behaviors, but it's still in them. The potential is still there, and once they've spent a long time in prison, there isn't much you can do to rehabilitate them. It's a predatory society where they go through hell, on a daily basis, for years on end. After they've been in there for 10+ years, there's no coming back from that, mentally.


I feel there should be more focus on prevention and rehabilitation, but only for non-violent and non-sexual crimes. Especially when it comes to drugs. They should all be decriminalized, and it should be treated like the health problem that it is. There should be major funding for treatment and (honest) educational programs.
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Postby zjoere » Sat Aug 29, 2009 12:56 pm

I think restorative justice coupled with rehabilitation should be the main focus. This means that the offender will restore the damage that he did, through processes like that will be rehablitated. This would also solve the problem that the other options are all focused on the offenders and leave little to no space for the victim. This will result in unhappy victims that will have less respect for the system because they are ignored by it. That could lead to less crimes reported to the police and increase the "dark number" problem (the number of crimes never reported to the police).

For a small section of criminals (those who have uncurable mental illnes) protection should be the main goal. Personally I don't think punishment deserves a big role. It has a very limited ability of dissuading others and preventing recidivism.
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Postby prophile » Sat Aug 29, 2009 3:14 pm

I voted Rehabilitation although Protection is important as is nuking Wales.
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Postby Jordy... » Sat Aug 29, 2009 4:06 pm

Why has nobody picked up on the subject of why people commit crimes?
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Postby MaximusBrood » Sun Aug 30, 2009 3:35 pm

I think it should have a focus on rehabilitation, explicitly without having minimum prison sentences; I believe they are a result of populist politics, fulfilling 'the people's' wishes for revenge while not actually helping society by estranging 'normal-people-criminals' from said society, making it more likely that they will commit a crime again.

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