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For many decades, punishment has been the primary mechanism for reducing crime in many countries. Kerman’s work allows for reflection about the fact that in America, many criminals are sentenced to imprisonment, which is supposed to prevent them from committing offenses again. There are various perspectives on punishment and its significance. While some believe that such a measure is necessary to maintain discipline and appropriate behavior, others think that punishment is purposeless, as it cannot eliminate crime. This paper argues that such a measure is vital and has significant benefits for society; it analyzes punishment from the sociological point of view and the perspective of an individual, referring to Kerman’s work.
Perspectives on Punishment
To evaluate the significance of punishment, one should analyze this measure from various points of view. From the sociological perspective, punitive actions serve the purpose of creating the right-thinking citizen that is aware of the adverse outcomes of crimes. Punishment may consist of three components, including deterrence, rehabilitation, and incapacitation. These components can be practiced through long-term incarceration that eliminates offenders’ physical capacity to commit crimes and discourages them from future offending, as well as through education that addresses the backgrounds and consequences of criminal acts.
From this perspective, punishment helps individuals to analyze their actions and understand the wrongness of their behavior. In addition, it is necessary to mention that punishment is also a retributive action, which means that it provides the victims and the innocent with relief and a sense of satisfaction. This role of punitive measures is also significant because it manifests society’s outrage at the offense.
For many individuals, punishment can also be highly significant and have an impact on their future life and decisions. For instance, as Kerman’s work shows, imprisonment can initiate reflection and help people to appreciate what they have more. The author discusses how she was enchanted by the sky and cherished the opportunity of seeing her loved ones again. These examples reveal that punishment is important, as it leads to the realization of the benefits of freedom and repentance.
In addition, punishment allows individuals to reflect on their personality, the events that led to offenses, and the ways to avoid such incidents in the future. Thus, from the perspective of each individual, punishment can play a significant role too.
At the same time, there is an alternative perspective that states that punitive measures do not reduce crime. A possible example is arresting a drug dealer, which will likely result in creating such a job for another person and continuation of the unlawful business. Moreover, sometimes punishment can be too harsh compared to the offense. In this case, it can cause anger and fear, not offering an opportunity for the criminal to become a better person.
However, it is necessary to note that punishment should be established in any case, as it is vital for helping individuals to see that unlawful actions are permitted. Punitive measures foster discipline in society, and they are significant for preventing people from violent crimes. Thus, although the alternative viewpoint on the issue is reasonable, it is not as feasible as the ones presented in the paper.
Punishment is a significant measure that benefits society as a whole, as well as individuals. It can help to foster discipline and prevent people from committing crimes. In addition, Kerman’s work shows that punishment allows individuals to reflect on their values and actions. In some cases, punishment is not as significant as in other ones because it may lead to additional challenges. However, through punitive measures, societies are able to preserve peace and protect the innocent from potential harm.