Crime and Punishment analytical essay



There are crimes across the globe, and it has proven futile to eradicate it. Crime can be termed as various misconducts aiming at breaking the forbidden laws that have been laid down to regulate a given community.  Crime and punishment have been in existence since the time of Adam and Eve in the bible.

With dynamism of time, different forms of disciplines have been formulated with the aim of managing the rate at which crimes emerge. In that, every society has rules and regulations that control people’s morals, and when individuals contravene them, it becomes a punishable criminal activity; as such, the punishment should have beneficial effects such as social protection, deterrence, reform, and the penalty ought to coincide with the level of crime. Retribution, restrain, capital punishment, and chemical castration forms of punishment constitutes effects of social protection, while rehabilitation and canning forms of punishment have significant effects on reforms.


Constant efforts have been applied in a view to fight crimes and minimize them in the best way possible. Every state makes efforts to curb down offenses made by use of policies and laws. Retribution is an example of a form of punishment that can be applied to discipline law offenders. The bible states a phrase that says, “An eye for an eye.” Before the reign of Christ, crime was deemed as an offense to the society while in reality, it remains that law-breaking was going against God’s will. Back then, in situations where one broke the law or angry one’s neighbor, the offense was deemed as wronging the society at large, and that one should be subjected to the same crime they committed (Aharoni & Fridlund 601). If one were found stealing, then the judgment would be to cut off their hands or fingers since the hand is the body part that carries out the offense. Since committing such a crime compromised the societal rules and God’s will then such brutal punishments were highly upheld. However, human beings may be viewed as stubborn creatures. This is because as much as such disciplines would gossip around, that did not hinder them from committing new crimes.


Deterrence punishment would be another form of punishment that can be applied to criminals. This kind of punishment is aimed at ensuring that a crime committed is not repeated. It tends to discourage criminal behavior that one has been charged with (Apel 101). For instance, when a driver is arrested and charged with being found to be under the influence of DUI. He goes through a short tribunal, and he is found guilty. The appropriate punishments should be applied, in that they should be enough to scare him of repeating the same crime. He may be subjected to losing his driver’s license, a hefty fine or imprisonment for a weeks, months or years. Losing his license for some time would deem enough to scare the driver never to repeat the same crime. Statistics show that a good number of teenage kids’ crimes are best managed by use of detention as a form of punishments. Adolescent crimes may include getting into unnecessary fights, drug use, and pickpocketing among others. However, deterrence is not only applied to children but also in adults.


It would be right to point out that probably rehabilitations are among the noblest and most benevolent form of punishment in the criminal regulation. Through rehabilitation, crime urge is minimized or better still wholly done away with. In return, the society’s level of crime growth rate is managed. The positive impacts that rehabilitation has in the community would be a new entry of a more productive member and hence more success being recorded. It creates a win-win situation in that the society and the individual criminal benefits.

Thus, rehabilitation is a very productive means of punishing criminals. However, others may argue that there are impending dangers of concentrating too much on recovery as a way of crime control. Research shows that over sixty percent of the criminals who were freed were re-arrested in three years or less. 50% of previously released convicts were recorded to have readmitted into the system (XII, Pope Pius). The above statistics raises the alarm on the effectiveness of rehabilitation. One may be forced to reconsider the application of this method for criminal punishment because; 1) it is time-consuming, 2) it may amount to wasted energy, and lastly, 3) it is a strenuous measure to the tax-payers. Perhaps, it is an illusion of imagining that a criminal may genuinely reform and be a productive member of the society. They could be holding back vengeance on anyone who may have been involved in putting them in the program.


Restraint can be one of the most reasonable reasons for punishing a criminal. Restraining an individual from the rest to prevent further criminal offenses could be an immediate sense of safety to the society. It guarantees the society that at least for some time they will be free of disturbance from crimes committed by the refrained individual. Usually in the physical restraint, the movement freedom of the perpetrator is restricted, by locking the person into a walled rooms such as police cells and prison cells, and by tying him or her to a hefty fixed object. Example of this tying objects used are hardened steel handcuffs, ropes, leg cuffs, chains and straitjackets (Fyodor). This has for the longest time possible been believed in the police’s responsibility to carry out restraining orders. However, there are concerns about who is fit for a warrant of restraining and the length of time they should be restrained. For instance, a seasoned pick-pocket who makes a worthy daily bread working possibly presents a bigger threat to the community than a fellow who inadvertently murders his wife’s assailant. However, the pick-pocket will possibly escape out of jail (even if he is jailed) earlier than this man. It would be beneficial to deliberate on a level of cooperation received from the society at large. Most societies can settle that it’s the role of the law to tangibly eliminate dangerous offenders from other people and prevent them from committing further crime (Materni 263). Those convicted of committing petty offenses or instead found to be repeatedly committing the same crimes could be subjected to correctional institution better known as incarceration (Enns 863).

Capital Punishment

Capital punishment is another form of punishment that has continually caused controversies. Marylyn Vos Savant stated that “capital punishment is the source of many arguments, both good and bad. Many people including me would not debate on whether taking a fellow humans life is right. From childhood, we have been made to believe that taking another human’s life is murder however good the reason may seem. Capital or death sentence is not a good form of punishment for many reasons. I, therefore, do advocate for it abolishment but not out of sympathy for the criminals. Research has indicated that death does not entirely do away with crimes committed. Also, economically the process of carrying out a death penalty is entirely higher than a life imprisonment. Due to this, cases of false conviction will always be evident before execution process is carried out.

Many states have made policies to do away with this form of punishment terming as a crude measure dealing with too much inhumanity. The world human rights have championed continuously against this type of punishment. However, America is among the few democratic countries that still use this form to punish severe criminal offenders like the world terrorists (Berdejó & Noam 751). Many would support it and deem it as a valid measure to deter crimes. That may not be the case, in that death punishment has been seen as vengeance measure that often will block justice administration (Plan, Study Sync Lesson 599). Thus there is cause for having it completely abolished in the punishment systems.

The graph below shows a graphical view of capital penalty across the world.

Graphical view of capital penalty across the world

The BJS- Bureau of Justice Statistics conducted research, and the graph indicates what has been carried out from 1982-2015. There has been a significant reduction of this form of punishment. About 40 countries are seen to have done away with death penalty while about 20 of them still apply it as a form of executing criminals.


Canning can be another form of punishment that is being used by some countries. This can be administered to an individual who is responsible for committing some offenses which could be; drug abuse, kidnapping, sexual abuse, robbery among others. States like Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia and a few African nations do apply this form of punishment (Apel & Robert 81). In Singapore, a medically-supervised caning is used. The treatment of the cane entails soaking it water to prevent its breakage during use. A doctor is hired to investigate the offender’s health and what follows is that the offender is made to take off his or her clothes and receive whacking on the bare bottom. It involves an application of 10 to 15 minutes interval of canning. For instance, a woman was publicly caned for being near to a spouse who was not her husband.

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Chemical Castration

Some punishments have been invented to curb sexually abuse of children. Chemical castration as a form of punishment has been implemented into law in countries like Indonesia. However, some reproves have been raised by world human rights who have reasoned out that the punishment is a violation of humanity (Steiker &Jordan). The penalty involves an injection of a medication whose main aim is to block one’s urge for sex and make them utterly incapable of performing sexual acts. However, the results remain reversible once one learns their lesson. According to Widodo, the Indonesian president, he was quoted saying that, “Chemical castration is aimed at bringing down sexual crimes and eradicating them from our nation. Doctors found going against the law will be liable to prosecution.”

Christian point of view on crime and punishment

From a Christian point of view, Jesus taught from an ethical point of view. He is seen pardoning the wrongdoers instead of punishing them as per what the law requires. In John’s gospel, a woman found in the act of adultery is brought to Jesus to seek his view on what would be the appropriate measure to be taken on her. He goes contrary to the Roman laws that provided that offenses like adultery resulted in stoning to death. He, however, gave his verdict by stating that “whoever is without sin should throw the stone first…”  None of them dared do that (Glenn & Adrian 61).

They all left the scene shamefully, and the woman was instructed to go and not sin again. Despite the law saying that she has to be punished for the offense she had done, he did grant her a second chance to straighten her behavior. This brings the question whether it is right always to punish. Christianity aims at re-establishing humans rather than applying punishment. According to Christianity even the worst criminal is valued and can receive forgiveness when they pray for repentance. A man of God would say that there is always a ray of hope that even the most wanted criminal can be rehabilitated.

Becker Method of crimes

Becker method of crime gives us a hint that the opportunity cost of time has a direct effect on the likelihood of one getting involved with criminal activity. Thus, in case of an increase in crime rate then there is a reduction in the opportunity cost of time. Salaries and employment do have a direct relationship with the rise of crimes in the community. Freeman states that “youths in poverty homes have a high chance of being put into jails.” Crimes depict a social interaction between criminals in the society.

Crime and Punishment novel by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Crime and Punishment is a novel authored by Fyodor. It portrays his rough life that is full of problems all through.  He does murder an individual and trail of guilt that affects his mental stability. He does believe that one has a free will to make choices. He terms it as an arbitrary will. His view is that a group of individuals must just live to form the universe and society.

However, once he made a realization of the mistakes he had made, it clicked to him that he his theory could be misleading. This gave him an insight on the path that he was going on. Is suffering is directly related to the crimes he had committed. He kills two individuals with a view that it was his right to take another man’s life. He, however, is punished for the murder cases he committed, by imprisonment, which does not measure up to the time that he took away from the individuals he murdered.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky fuses the personality of his key character (protagonist) in the novel, Rodion Raskolnikov. Raskolnikov is a student who comes from low-income family and commits the grievous offenses for money. He argues that the woman he murdered is old and she has no need to share her wealth with anyone. His reasoning is so unjust in that he thinks that it’s his way of avenging his sister’s death. His sister was killed in the wrong place at the wrong time. His justification for his deeds was that certain men were deemed more ‘superior.’

His punishment constituted an eight-year labor in Siberia. He was, however, receiving special treatment. He was given an allowance of seeing his girlfriend despite the seniority of his offense (Fyodor). He cites out that he did not feel that the punishment administered to him measured up for his crime.

This correlates with the current situation in the contemporary world. In recent times, it has deemed quite hard to get a crime offender put in jail for full conviction of crimes done. In situations that they may end up being put in prison, they have their crude means of getting out. For those who are on the death row always filing numerous appeals and in return waste money instead and especially on cases there is no way that they can win (Materni 263). These are some of the issues that make it hard for the administration of the justice system appropriately.  For instance, one can get away with a crime just because they have read their rights elaborately.

There is need to change the rules pertaining jailing system in that it does not measure up to one to be apprehended and let to socialize, feed and even engage in extra curriculum activities (Nagin et al. 88). In my view, when one is arrested there must be a good reason behind it, and hence they should not be allowed to engage in regular activities.

Punishment should be administered to invoke self-reproach on criminals. It should be in a manner that one should not be involved in the criminal offense again. Therefore, there should be a continuous analysis of the justice system to check out on punishments which are working according to the core duties it is aimed at. If imprisonment is no longer serving its course, then another form of punishment that works better should be adopted. However, there have been many instances of criminal leaving prisons in a worse state than they were when they were sentenced. These are mainly instances where illegal fake of having reformed and depict a ‘good behavior’ and they hence are released. Upon leaving the prison, they become a significant threat to the society. Jeff Jacob writes that “Bring Back Flogging” indicating that prison has been like a graduate school of criminal studies (Enns 864).  They come out more brutal than when they entered.

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For crimes dealing with young individuals can be managed at an early stage through administering of canes The teenage kids could be helped at a first stage through canning publicly and force them to avoid the criminal life entirely. The past forms of penance were a real discouragement of crimes contrary to the punishments applied to criminals in the recent years.  The rapid growth of crimes is attributed to poverty increase and ailment among street individual in which crime is their only option for survival. Chances remain high of one being pickpocketed along any street in towns or cities.


In conclusion, the purpose of punishment remains vital in controlling crime growth rate in the society. The primary objectives having been mentioned as deterrence, rehabilitation, retribution, restriction, and incapacitation should be well applied in criminal cases to aim at preventing further sprouting of more severe crimes… There is no better way to say whether punishment does reforms criminals. However, the sentence remains a form that helps us distinguish between the laws breakers in the society from the obedient. Fearing getting punished is ultimately one of the main reasons why an individual will tend to shun crime related acts.

We, therefore, have a call of duty to ensure efforts put in curbing crime rates are highly upheld. Many challenges are facing the guarantee of the appropriate programs being used in managing punishment administration. Therefore, a measure like barring of low-risk offenders from making interaction with high-risk offenders can be a vital measure. It aids reduce prison cases and gangs. It is paramount that communities come up with their rehabilitation to take up the low-risk offenders and manage their threat of graduating into a high-risk offender.

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  1. Aharoni, Eyal, and Fridlund, Alan J. “Punishment without reason: Isolating retribution in lay punishment of criminal offenders. “Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, Vol 18. No 4, 2012, pp.599-625, Accessed August 2014.
  2. Apel, Robert. “Sanctions, perceptions, and crime: Implications for criminal deterrence.” Journal of quantitative criminology 29.1, 2013, pp. 67-101, Accessed 5 October 2017.
  3. Berdejó, Carlos, and Noam Yuchtman. “Crime, punishment, and politics: an analysis of political cycles in criminal sentencing.” Review of Economics and Statistics 95.3, 2013, pp. 741-756. Online Publication October 2016. Accessed 02 December 2017.
  4. Enns, Peter K. “The public’s increasing punitiveness and its influence on mass incarceration in the United States.” American Journal of Political Science 58.4, 2014, pp. 857-872. Accessed 20 November 2017.
  5. Fyodor Dostoevsky. “Crime and Punishment”. The Russian Messenger, 1866, separate edition 1867, Accessed October 27, 2016.
  6. Glenn, Andrea L., and Adrian Raine. “Neurocriminology: implications for the punishment, prediction and prevention of criminal behaviour.” Nature Reviews Neuroscience 15.1, 2014, pp. 54-63, Accessed 01 December 2017.
  7. Materni, Mike C. “Criminal Punishment and the Pursuit of Justice.” Brit. J. Am. Legal Stud. 2, 2013, pp. 263, Accessed 12 November 2017.
  8. Nagin, Daniel S., Robert M. Solow, and Cynthia Lum. “Deterrence, criminal opportunities, and police.” Criminology53.1, 2015, pp. 74-100, Accessed 12 October 2017.
  9. Plan, StudySync Lesson. “Crime and Punishment. “Punishment of criminal offenders.” Psychology, Public Policy, and Law 18.4, 2012, pp. 599, Accessed 12 October 2017.
  10. Steiker, Carol S., and Jordan M. Steiker. “Entrenchment and/or Destabilization? Reflections on (Another) Two Decades of Constitutional Regulation of Capital Punishment.” 2012, Accessed 20 November 2017.
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