Reformative Theory of Punishment

Crime is primarily understood as a wrong against people within communities, as opposed to the more abstract legal definition of crime as a violation against the state. Those most directly affected by the crime are allowed to play an active role in restoring peace between individuals and within communities. Recovering the emotional and material losses that result from a crime is far more important than inflicting ever-increasing, costly sentences on the perpetrator

Punishment refers to the coercion used to uphold the law of the land, meaning that it is one of the pillars of modern civilization. Ensuring a peaceful society and life is the task of the state. Failure to punish causes the law to lose its power, ultimately creating a society incapable of maintaining law and order and a government incapable of protecting its people.

However, the informative approach, aimed at reducing such crimes and reforming convicts, was introduced to protect the fundamental rights to which a person is entitled. Developed by psychologists, sociologists, and physiologists to create a system where convicts can be reformed and reintegrated into society as citizens. 

Rehabilitation aims to fundamentally change the perpetrators and their behaviour. As with rehabilitation, it is usually education and psychological treatment to reduce the likelihood of future crime.

The sentences are therefore tailored to the needs of the offender and usually include aspects of rehabilitation such as community service, forced therapy or counselling. This theory favours the humanitarian sentiments of the time. Hence, the punishment is imposed for the good of the criminal himself. This theory aims to transform criminal minds so that prison inmates can lead the lives of ordinary citizens.

This theory is supported by psychologists. They argue that the crimes are not based on a willful violation of the moral law. Rather, the crimes are due to mental disorders or insanity. Therefore, criminals should not be punished. You should be treated in hospitals or reform schools for improvement. The treatment of the criminal should be educational or medical rather than punitive. But there are crimes that some people willfully violate the moral code. Hence, they should be punished. Thus, the punishment prevents others from committing similar crimes. It can also sharpen the criminal’s mind so as not to go down the wrong path.

Recently heightened public awareness of alternatives to the traditional prison system has created a favourable social climate for the growth of reform justice among the public. The increase in victim identity and victimization in our society has created satisfactory conditions for the public acceptance of ideas of restorative justice, particularly through the mass media.

Reformative theory can indeed be fruitful in reforming non-habitual offenders. But in some cases, it doesn’t work smoothly because a tough criminal cannot be mended. If we accept it, the criminals will repeat the same type of crime. Therefore; instead of trying to improve his criminal mind, he should be punished. Thus it can be said that reform theory is more effective when it comes to complementing the normal punishment rather than replacing it entirely.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

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