Is Incarceration The Only Solution To Crime In Society?Incarceration has been the preferred method of punishing criminals in many states. Other methods of dealing with criminals include death sentence, fines, and physical punishment among others.
These methods are employed in diverse situations depending on the nature of the crime committed. Though the last sentence seems to be the ultimate means of reducing crime, it is often faced with rejection especially from human rights activists and religious leaders. They term death penalty as an unjust way of dealing with lawbreakers since it entails killing a human being (National Policy Committee 3).
On the other side, fines and physical punishments are sometimes impossible to compare to the ‘kind of’ crime committed. For instance, there are not enough fines or physical punishments that can be inflicted on an individual guilty of killing or raping another person. This is because the effects of murder and rape are immeasurable (JFA-Associates 7). Thus, one would pause and ask if incarceration is the only solution to Crime in the Society? This paper will discuss this question with arguments on both the supporting and opposing sides.
Incarceration is the Only Solution to Crime in the Society
Incarceration, and especially lifetime incarceration, are the best ways to condone crime in the society. This is because it deters the victim from committing similar or different crimes. If one is sentenced to life imprisonment for robbing a bank, he will never commit such a crime again in his lifetime. This remains true unless one is discharged back to the society through amnesty or accidentally sneaks from prison. Compared to the death penalty, this method does not involve killing, act that is objected by religious leaders and human rights activists (National Policy Committee 6).
Secondly, incarceration involves segregation of the victim of the society either for some time or in their lifetime. The ‘kind of’ life that criminals are experiencing while in prison is never appealing for anyone. Consequently, imprisoning criminals scare potential persons from engaging in crime due to the fear of incarceration and the penalties associated with the prison stay. Methods of punishment such as fines and physical punishments always offer the criminal a chance to live their free life in the society; therefore, they do not serve to deter crime activities. Drug traffickers are often wealthy people who may not be deterred from committing the crime by physical punishments or cash fines. They would continue trafficking drugs and risk paying hefty fines once convicted rather than abstaining in the fear of cheap fines. Therefore, imprisonment (and perhaps life imprisonment) would be the most appropriate way to scare potential persons from engaging in crime (National Policy Committee 13).
Whereas imprisonment has been in use in many countries, it does not seem to lower the rate of crime. Therefore, it is noted that imprisonment does not succeed in lowering crime rates, but it leads to better results when mixed with other methods. It has to be combined with other means such as physical punishment and rehabilitation. Some countries have prisons that are more like leisure centers with television sets in cells, comfortable beds, and pleasant meals. These are not the type of prisons to deter crime in the case of the poor population. In essence, prisons should be such that once someone has been there, they would never wish to repeat the experience. The unpleasant living conditions coupled with rehabilitation and vocational training sessions are the best way to deter crime in the society. Upon dismissal, one would hate to commit a crime and go back to the unpleasant life. On the other side, they would have gained the skills necessary for earning them a living; therefore, crime will no longer be of preference.
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