Effectiveness of Punishment

Effectiveness of Punishment

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  • Hey! How are you? Can I buy you a drink?
  • Sure.. I guess. But I have to go check on my friend..
  • Thanks for meeting me here, I needed to avoid the creepy guy on the floor.
  • The man in the blue jacket? I know him, he's been to jail 5 times for drug possession and domestic violence!
  • 5 times!? But I thought the prison system was an effective form of punishment. Effectiveness would mean a relatively harsh punishment depending on the crime, right? Our government makes sure it's consistent and unfavorable so that the behavior decreases. Effective punishment would be given promptly and could not be avoided.
  • Yes I agree but how effective is punishment really? 77% of prisoners are rearrested within 5 years, so obviously our punishment system is lacking. And in terms of psychopathy, punishment is nearly useless as psychopaths respond better to rewards for good behavior than punishment for the bad. I mean look at the Columbine shooters! They underwent a correctional program for a robbery arrest but they still proceeded to commit more crimes and kill people. Punishment only serves to aggravate the offender and provoke more illegal behavior.
  • That reminds me.. Although spanking is used by 75% of US parents.. it is shown that spanking, while useful in the short-term, leads to antisocial behaviors, delinquency, and aggression. Punishment is not always effective in behavior correction but perhaps we should implement punishment which reminds the offender that the crime is bad, but also teach what the appropriate behavior would be. Effectiveness would mean the error is be corrected while not greatly hurting the person receiving the punishment.
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