Harsh prison sentences will prevent people from committing crime “The only reason for a prison is to put away people who are violent while helping them to change” states Gillian (2012). Crime, in a Christian society the ten commandments form the basics of the rules and laws whereas in this society that we live in, the government has its own regulations. Government regulations are rules and laws on how things would be run in the country. These regulations are there to take care of its people therefore every citizen is encouraged to abide by those laws.
If by any chance a citizen happens to stop following these either by omission or ignorance then it is considered breaking the law, which is crime. Then we ask what crime is, the answer is so obvious that we never stop asking. Crime is breaking the laws of the government. Yet according to the Oxford English dictionary (2006:172) crime is doing something disgraceful and immoral. Therefore we all have different understanding of what crime is. But because the government wants all these to be followed they introduced punishment, by sentencing people to prison.
But do harsh prison sentence prevent people from committing crime. Most people would argue for and against long and harsh prison sentences, and in some way harsh prison sentences do work however on certain people. We need to begin by looking at the difference between punishment and restraint. “We put away people because we feel they are dangerous to themselves and people around them, there for there should be no need to inflict pain on them because punishments should be to teach not hurt people ” states Gillian (2012). People learn from their mistakes.
It is commonly known that when a child is severely punished the chances of them doing the same thing are very high and the same applies to adults, especially the ones in prisons. A number of prisoners commit crime a few years after being released usually with more seriously offences. Then we begin to wonder what is the use of harsh prison sentences, when we can help these people so they can stop doing crime. Being in prison might expose people to more dangerous criminals which makes hard for them to change. Considering the violent activities that happen in prison and prisoners having to fight for themselves this.
There is always a reason on why a person commits crime its either they are under drug influence or they are being physically and emotionally abused in their homesteads which makes it easier for bad behavior to accumulate in one’s life. For some people it’s because they are not quite educated to realize they are breaking the laws. “Punishment may bring defiance rather than deterrence, people that are harshly treated may want to show that they can never be broken by a certain system” states Begman (2011:489) some people believe that if prison is so harsh, the threat of prison sentence will deter people from committing crime.
Like, rehabilitating deterrence does not seem to be effective for several reasons, because people usually commit crime under drug influence or alcohol without thinking of the possible consequences. While prisons help in keeping some dangerous people off the streets, it is better encouraged that we find other means to deter crime. A sociological interpretation of crime makes it clear that there are no quick fixes. The causes of crime are bound up with structural conditions of society including poverty. Therefore in my opinion, it is important to look at alternative methods.
In many countries they still have lengthy and harsh prison sentences but crime has continued to increase throughout the world and it seem as if the criminals are more dangerous and technologically advanced. Therefore it is clear that long and harsh prison sentences are not entirely effective. I think harsh prison sentence should be for people who commit more serious crimes such as assault or murder as justice for the victim. The government could focus on what is causing crime which would lead to less crime future and community service would be a way for offenders to give back something positive to the community.
As stated by Nelson Mandela “In my country we go to prison first and then become president”, this shows that offenders can change for the better. To conclude, I think harsh prison sentences are not entirely effective therefore the government should look at other various methods of crime reduction, only methods that would help the offenders so they can be accepted by the society and have enough people to support them so they can not commit crime again. REFERENCE LIST BRITISH & IRISH ASSOCIATION OF LAW LIBRARIANS. ( 2000). BIALL salary survey, 1999/2000. London: TFPL Recruitment.
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Contemporary social problems: an introduction to the sociology of deviant behaviour and social disorganization. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1961, pp. 651-694. 4. HAPGOOD, M. ( ed). ( 2007). The laws of prisons [eBook]. 13th ed. London: LexisNexis Butterworths. Available via: Lexis Library [Accessed 4 June 2009]. 5. MANSON, A. ( 1825). Medical researches on the study of the psychological behavior or ex-convivts[online]. London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, Brown and Green. Available at: http://books. google. com/books? id=jukGAAAAQAAJ&printsec=titlepage [Accessed 4 June 2009]. [Digitised by Google Books 8 March 2007. ]