WJEC Criminology: Unit 4- AC2.2

  • Created by: totaloser
  • Created on: 22-05-19 21:27

AC2.2- Describe the aims of punishment

Penal System aims: 

  • Retribution: this aims to punish an offender, such as imprisonment
  • Rehabilitation: this aims to help prisoners so they don't reoffend
  • Deterrence: to stop others from committing a crime
  • Public Protection: to keep the public sade
  • Reparation: to punish criminals as pay back to the community or victim

Punishment categories:

  • Custodial: Mandatory and discretionary life sentences, fixed term sentences or suspended sentence
  • Community sentences: Can be a combination order e.g unpaid work, curfew, drug treatment and testing, supervision, treatment programs
  • Fines: Depends on financial circumstances of the offender and seriouness of offences
  • Discharges-conditional: If the defendant re-offends during this time (up to three years), the courts can give a different sentence
  • Discharges- absolute: No penalty is imposed. Defendant is guilty but morally blameless


  • Based on the idea that the offender deserves a punishment
  • Let the punishment fit the crime- 'an eye for an eye'
  • Justice should be measured in terms of fairness and proportionality 
  • The more serious, the more harsh the punishment
  • Does not seek to alter future behaviour, merely to inflict punishment in proportiin to the offence
  • Supported by the sentencing council who provide guidelines on sentecing
  • According to the coroners and justice act 2009, a court must follow the guidelines unless it is against the interests of the justice system to do so
  • Retribution contains an element of revenge, in that the society and victim are being avenged for the wrong doing
  • The most radical example of retribution is the death penalty
  • However, the re-offending rate is the same in US states that have the death penalty in comparison to states that dont (reoffending rate of 64%)


  • The main aim is to reform the offender by altering their behaviour and reintroducing them into society 
  • It is a forward thinking…


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