Why the justice system should focus on rehabilitation rather than retribution.

Rehabilitation in Justice System

  1. Introduction

a. Rehabilitation focuses on restoring an offender’s life through training and therapy to enable them to reintegrate into society after imprisonment easily.

b. Retribution focuses on punishing offenders for the criminal act to discourage them from engaging in illegal activities (Kury, 24).

c. Embracing rehabilitation would enable the criminal justice system to identify and address root factors causing deviant behavior reducing the chances of them repeating the crime.

  1. a. Rehabilitation facilitates reintegration.

i. Rehabilitation emphasizes prisoner’s rights by adopting proactive measures such as training to discourage and prevent re-offending.

ii. Rehabilitation makes offenders develop humanizing beliefs which enable them to learn and possess acceptable values.

iii. Retribution emphasizes punishment as an end rather than means of transforming offenders.

iv. Retribution makes offenders suffer from the consequences of their actions and not learn humanizing beliefs essential for easy integration into society.

v. The probability of recidivism is high when retribution is encouraged.

  1. Rehabilitation integrates societal and the victims’ concern

i. Rehabilitation focuses on reducing re-offending and crime rates, thereby protecting society from nuisance.

ii. Rehabilitation emphasizes helping offenders change their deviant behavior and adopt an acceptable character (Kury, 21).

iii. System focusing on retribution does not have a higher possibility of preventing crime, causing the offenders to have a level of revenge or aggression.

iv. Retribution punishes the outcome but does not deal with the root problem.

  1. Rehabilitation recognizes social inequality reality.

i. Rehabilitation enables society to recognize that some circumstances can constrain or lead to criminality.

ii. It provides support to unfortunate individuals whose circumstances have been overcome.

  1. Rehabilitation in the German prison system

i. German sentencing and correctional practices emphasize rehabilitation and normalization programs.

ii. The normalization aspect focuses on making life in prison as much like life in the community.

iii. German prison system use incarceration less frequent and for a shorter period and rely heavily on fine and community based than prison sentencing (Vera Institute of Justice, 8)

  1. Conclusion

a. Retribution encourages the separation of offenders from society; however, they may become more aggressive when released to their social networks.

b. Rehabilitation ensures offenders are transformed by learning positive behavior.

Works Cited

Kury, Helmut. “Rehabilitation in prison German experiences and what can be done better.” Romanian Journal of Sociological Studies 1 (2018): 19-36.

Vera Institute of Justice. Sentencing and Prison Practices in Germany and the Netherlands: Implications for the United States. (2020). Retrieved from: https://www.vera.org/downloads/Publications/sentencing-and-prison-practices-in-germany-and-the-netherlands-implications-for-the-united-states/legacy_downloads/european-american-prison-report-v3.pdf

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