Explain the history of punishment and its goals.

Western societies have been punishing criminal actors since ancient Greece. This begs the question of whether or not punishment is an effective means of crime control and recidivist reduction. As you explore the balance of freedom vs. security and the history of criminal punishment, be willing to think of new ways to address and deter criminal behavior.

Explain the history of punishment and its goals. Your response must detail the origins of punishment, how notions of what is “appropriate” punishment is for a given circumstance over time, and an analysis of the effectiveness of modern punishment methods and schemes.  

Jeffrey, C. R. (1959). Pioneers in criminology: The historical development of criminology (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 50(1), 3-19.doi:10.1177/00471178030172005

  • Understanding the sources of criminal law are essential to any understanding of current, criminal law issues. Not surprisingly, the issues faced by the criminal justice system today have been issues for centuries. This comprehensive analysis of not just the origins of criminal law, but its effectiveness and its accountability are presented for students.

McMunigal, K. C. (2004). A statutory approach to criminal law (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. Retrieved fromhttp://scholarlycommons.law.case.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1539&context=faculty_publications

  • Read pages 1286-89, 1290- 91, and 1293-1295
  • This article points out the fact that all criminal laws (statutes) must be in writing, and the state must prove each part of the statute (elements of the crime) to gain a conviction Do not get lost in “legal terms” in reading this article. Remember, statute equals criminal law, which creates a crime. All crimes must be clear and provide people with a plain understanding of what is a crime (called notice). If something is not written (created by a legislature), then it is not a crime.

Sterans. A. W. (1936). Evolution of punishment (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology27(2). doi:10.2307/1135604

  • The origins of punishment as a means of deterrence or retribution cannot be traced to one singular event. The notions of punishment, and its level of appropriateness, has changed over the years, but understanding this central, criminal justice concept is essential to any understanding of criminal law and its goals.
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