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According to Mishra (2016), the four theories of punishment include reformative, retributive, preventive and deterrent theory. The difference between these theories lies in the goal of deterrent theory which serves as a form of punishment for wrong doers to deter them from future violations of the law. The theory imposes punishment as a consequence for wrong doers. In preventive theory, the punishment for those found guilty includes death, life imprisonment and hard labor. Many criminologists support this theory is enables people to abstain from crime as a result of its consequences. The reformative theory, on the other hand, is aimed at shaping the conduct of the guilty persons (Mishra, 2016). This theory is preferred by many criminologists who argue that crime is not an inborn trait and that nobody was born as a criminal. There are several factors that drive an individual to engage in crime which includes poverty, and other social factors (Mishra, 2016). It is widely contested that if criminals are educated, they can behave as normal members of the society. The reformative theory can be utilized to shape the behaviors of young offenders. The retributive theory focuses on subjecting the guilty person to a lot of pain and suffering. Most criminologists do not support this theory because it subjects the accused person to a lot of inhumane acts.
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Despite the difference that exists between the four theories of punishment, these theories also have various similarities. They all share the same goal which is to punish the wrong doers (Mishra, 2016). The strategies employed by each theory are aimed at shaping the behaviors of offenders while warning others of similar consequences if the engage in crime. The rules of these theories might differ but the objectives are similar, which is to issue punishment based on the nature of the crime committed (Mishra, 2016). All the theories are aimed at preventing people from engaging in the crime right before they perpetrate crime. To effectively combat crime, it is important to come up with preventive measures rather than to come up with a solution. Even though these theories appears to be effective if integrated, it would be challenging to utilize all of them because most of it focuses on issuing different forms of punishment rather that providing early intervention measures.
Educational programs within prisons can function as rehabilitation for inmates. This fact is supported by reformation theory of punishment which contends that if criminals are educated, their behaviors can be shaped and they would be able to abstain from crime (Mishra, 2016). The Administration of sentence act supports the establishment of correctional facility where criminals are granted rights to access educational resources and programs (Swain & Rice, 2009). It is clear that most criminals engage in crime as a result of poverty, unemployment, and illiteracy. The education programs have capabilities of shaping the behaviors of criminals by enabling them to become responsible members of the society (Swain & Rice, 2009). The prison environment can be further be improved by introducing educational programs. According to researchers, the prison environment can be transformed by educational programs to an enabling environment which shapes the behaviors of the prisoners (Benson, 2003). The education programs would aid in shaping prisoners into professionals whose conduct would be guided by acceptable ethics in the society. These programs also would aid the offenders during their transition to outside world (Benson, 2003). Education programs also would address the issue of illiteracy, unemployment and poverty. It would enable prisoners to acquire necessary skills and training that would enable them to engage in various professional occupations upon release thus abstaining from crime. Introducing education programs would be an effective strategy compared to other forms of punishment in combating crime because it addresses its root causes
There are various challenges involved in introducing education programs in prison. The process of introduction would require a lot of resources. A lot of finances and government support would be essential to guarantee effective implementation of education programs prison. The move is likely to be met with a lot of resistance from opponents because it is more expensive as compared to other rehabilitation strategies. For the programs to function effectively, all the prison entities would be required to be trained to enable them to adapt to new changes. This process would take a lot of time and more resources would be used. To effectively implement the programs, there are various components that would be essential. The first component is government funding and support which is vital for effective implementations. The other important component is technology which would enable the government and relevant prison entities to effectively monitor the effectiveness of each education program and identify the best program that should be used in all prisons. There are various benefits of introducing and implementing education programs in prisons. Education programs would aid in addressing the root causes of poverty which include illiteracy, unemployment and poverty. It would also shape the behaviors of the offenders by enabling them to become ethical and responsible members of the society.
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In conclusion, the theories of punishment are aimed at addressing the issues of crime. I do support reformative theory because it focuses on shaping the behaviors rather than issuing different forms of punishment. The prisons also should come up with educational programs as a form of rehabilitation for inmates because it would address the root causes of crime thus preventing inmates from engaging in crime upon their release.
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