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Friday, 2 April 2010

Criminals should not be punished but reformed.

Topic: “Criminals should not be punished but reformed.” Discuss.

1. Briefly talk about the increase in crime rates.
2. Describe the advantages of punishing criminals.
- It may prevent the criminal from repeating his offence.
- It is a form of retribution.

3. Describe the disadvantages of punishing criminals.
- There could be particular reasons for the crime.

4. Describe the advantages of reforming criminals.
- It is a more humane approach.

5. Describe the disadvantages of reforming criminals.
- Some criminals may pretend to have psychological problems to escape punishment.

6. Briefly conclude that a combination of the two approaches is the solution.

With rapid modernization, one sees a parallel increase in crime rates al lover the world. Is punishment or reformation of criminals the better solution to the problem? In my view, punishment and reformation have both advantages and disadvantages.

Punishment instills fear in the criminal and prevents him from repeating his offence. If the sentence is a severe one like imprisonment or even death, many will think twice before committing a crime. Moreover, others will feel that justice is being done.

However, there could be where the criminal does not deserve severe punishment. There may be some particular reasons for committing a crime. For instance, a criminal may have come from a broken family or have psycho logical problems. Therefore, reformation could serve as a better alternative in this case. Reformation tries to trace the root cause of the crime and attempts to change the criminal’s attitude and behavior.

Reformation centers employ professional psychologists and teachers who try to understand and guide the criminals. The criminals are also taught useful skills such as woodcarving, wiring and plumbing so that they can find jobs after their release.

However, there are disadvantages in reformation too. Criminals who commit heinous crimes may pretend to have psychological problems and be admitted into reformation centers. There, instead of being punished, they receive kind treatment. This would of course outrage the public.

In conclusion, I feel that both punishment and reformation do help to solve the problem of crime. Hence, both the approaches could be adopted. Whether a criminal should be punished or reformed however, would depend on each particular case and careful consideration.

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