Questions Legal

What is the purpose of punishment in criminal law?


Anjana Roy

Silent smiling woman

We all are familiar with the meaning of Crime. It is the most unfortunate activity that happens in our society daily; namely, rapes, murders, robbery, kidnapping, and so on. To stop these crimes, our Government has implemented some laws, or we can say punishments for the criminals according to the type of crime they have committed.

But do we ever think that what is the use of these punishments or what is the purpose behind this?

The purpose is many if we mention in detail but the overall major reason is to create a crime-free society.

Listed below are the different reasons for punishment in Criminal Law –

  1. Revenge
  2. Rehabilitation
  3. Deterrence
  4. Incapacitation
  • Revenge – crime does not just harm the particular victim; it also encourages wrongdoings in society. So punishing the criminal in the first go is most necessary than anything. If the law doesn’t take serious action against the crime, then it brings a feeling of retribution or revenge in the society or the belongings of the victim, so controlling this is the major purpose of punishment in Criminal law.
  • Rehabilitation – it is the way to bring a criminal back to its normal life by providing adequate training to him or her. There is a law to rehabilitate the criminal who is facing imprisonment. Because it is a belief that everyone should get a single chance to improve themselves. Even they also are having the right to live a normal life who has break society laws. So law provides training therapies to reshape their behaviors in the hope that they may follow the rules and regulations of society. After rehabilitation, the culprit may have a chance to get free from jail or his punishment gets reduced. 
  • Deterrence – it is the act of discouraging wrongdoings. In this, the government charge penalty for the crime. The purpose of charging a high penalty is that crime will remain this penalty in mind while breaking the next rule of law.
  • Incapacitation – in this, the criminal is fully incapable of doing anything. It generally includes serious crimes in which long term imprisonment is required. The purpose of incapacitation is to protect society from criminals who have done serious crimes. Long term jail is best suited for these criminals so that they can stay away from the normal society for a lifetime.

Read more:  What is substantive criminal law?

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