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January 24, 2006

Punishment vs. Rehabilitation

Consider the following sentences:

All these sentences were handed down in a 2-week period, January 6-19, in Massachusetts and Vermont.

In the debate on punishment vs. rehabilitation, certainly there should be some combination of the two. And at least have the former if the latter is deemed unlikely (think repeat offenders, as in the second and third examples above) if for no other reason that societal self-defense. These are children we're talking about, after all.

UPDATE: The 60-day sentence has been extended to 3-10 years. The judge's statement:

"The court agrees a punitive response - punishment - is a valuable and necessary component of society's response to criminal conduct," he said. "It is a tool that the court has routinely used for the past 24 years on the trial bench. As stated during the sentencing hearing, however, punishment is not enough of a response in some cases.

"This is one of those cases," he said.

But to me, the original sentence didn't have much of any punitive response. Nonetheless, I'm glad this was done.

Posted by Doug at January 24, 2006 01:25 PM

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I think punishment is way better than rehabilitation.The criminal has done something wrong and does not deserve the priviledge of living in a community with law abiding citizens. Currently I am researching a debate for school on this topic and I'm having trouble finding material, but I know where I stand...

Posted by: B.A. at March 27, 2006 06:03 PM

One person thinks that punishment is way better than rehabilitation. The criminal has done something wrong and does not deserve the privilege of living in a community with law abiding citizens. now in my opinion this person has not put a lot of thought in this as Rehabilitation is based upon therapeutic or psychological view of humans. Rather than moral or political view that is similar to that of democratic principles. Rehabilitation is seen to fit perfect with the democratic view, where rehabilitation values the life of each person, and that the government plays a part in the helping reintegrate the offender to live a normal and productive life. Therefore it makes sense that we should comply with correctional institution in which treat the offender, to reintegrate back into society as well as some type of punishment for his or her crime. I don’t believe that the inflicting pain against the prisoner works as it increases hate, likewise with warehousing the criminal; the reason for my understanding is based upon the facts that one day these prisoners will be released back into society and commit further crime because of the storing of negative emotions.

Posted by: ikoke at June 12, 2006 11:50 AM

I'm all for rehab, but there has to be line that we draw in the sand that says "We know you've got problems, and need help, but you are going to pay for your crimes while receiving help." Some say that a main reason to have rehab is the very fact that these people are going to be reintegrated back into society, and should therefore receive rehabilition, which I couldn't agree with more. But I also say that a society that lives without a real deterrent to crime is one that asks for chaos. After all, how many people have not commited a crime simply because there was a consequence?

Posted by: Jeff at June 21, 2006 02:31 PM

I definitely believe that rehabilitation is beneficial to an inmate. It is needed to teach the criminal what they are doing wrong and how to fix it. It is needed to help that person live a safe life, not just one behind bars. Punishment is not for everyone and sometimes rehabilitation is the better choice.

Posted by: Tara at May 16, 2007 12:03 PM