Harsh punishments are more effective in reducing crime

Harsh punishments are more effective in reducing crime

How do you think the crime would reduce - with harsher punishments or moral teachings?
Discuss both the views and take a stand.

This is quite debatable as to whether harsh punishments are more effective in reducing crime or moral teachings. If one was to follow the Bible, one would follow the principle of retribution which believes that punishment is deserved in proportion to the seriousness of an offence.

But one has to understand, what the underlying objective of punishment is. If it is to inflict suffering on the offender, then harsh punishment should be the approach. However, if the objective is to reassert the morals in the offender, then moral teachings come across as an effective approach.

In my opinion, the crime would be most effectively handled if a balanced approach is followed – one which punishes also to an extent and shows right direction for the future as well. The ones conceited should also be given a chance to re-invent themselves. For example, more important is to eradicate the habit of stealing in a person than to send him to jail. But sending to jail is also necessary; else wrong doings will increase in the society.

The problem arises when the convicted of a crime are abandoned by the society or viewed with hatred. In those cases, they become further rebellious and resolve to crime permanently. A still better approach would be that laws in a country should be strict enough and police vigilant enough, so that crime is prevented to a large extent. Also, delayed system of justice increases the proportion of crimes. Courts should practice immediate justice procedure. This will help to reduce crime rate.

Sometimes, harsh punishments become absolutely necessary. This is because criminal psychology has revealed an important insight that, some people take decision about whether to commit a crime or not depending upon its punishment. They might commit a crime if the penalty/punishment is not very high or if their chances of getting caught are very low. For this genre, harsh punishment definitely averts them from committing crime, thereby reducing the crime rate.

Many psychologists also feel that, media is also responsible to a large extent in increasing of crime rates. Telecasting highly violent television shows have been responsible to an extent for increasing violent behaviour in people.

On one hand, there are crimes which are done due to forceful circumstances of a person and on the other hand, there are crimes of passion and crimes of logic. Punishment and its harshness should be decided depending of the nature of crime and underlying intentions of a person.
Post your comment


  • RE: Harsh punishments are more effective in reducing crime -Jaya priyadarshini (05/06/16)
  • Harsh punishment can really stop people doing crime before doing any type of crime a person will really think hundred times that they should do it or not.Is this really going to ruined there life and their families life too.
    Harsh punishment is the best way to stop crime.It should be applied for everyone.
  • RE: Harsh punishments are more effective in reducing crime -Francis (05/05/16)
  • Whoever wrote this article should really more research on the opposite stance or perhaps take a psychology class on human behavior. Negative punishment does not necessarily, I repeat, necessarily reduce bad behavior. What it does it increase the costs associated with getting caught committing bad behavior. This is exactly why parents who threaten their teenagers with harsh punishments may still find them slipping back into the same activities they warned them against. If I'm 16 and all of my friends want to do something really fun, but my parents threaten that ground me for a year or take my care away, I'm definitely going to be afraid of getting caught but that doesn't mean I'm not going to go out with my friends. It is true that I may be less inclined to go out, but if my friends are that fun or I will be socially ostracized for not going out with them (obviously this is irrational as an adult, but think like a teenager for a moment), I may just be more inclined to be more discrete in committing my bad behavior. Studies have noted certain correlations between harsher punishments and reduced crimes, however it is not only flawed but damaging to conclude that such correlation implies causation. This logic of tough punishment meaning less crime a major reason for America's astounding prison rates as well as the high recidivism of inmates. Lowering crime in a way that is thoroughly beneficial to society isn't just about reducing it but preventing it as well. This means dealing with the structural issues that incline certain demographics to commit more crimes, and rehabilitating them so that when they commit these injustices they learn how to be better people and get re-acclimated to society. Harsh punishments are a quick fix to a major problem and they may allow some people their piece of mind, but at the cost of the lives of the ones who are thrown away to rot and the communities that endure the harmful effects of what causes the crime in the first place. I am not advocating that certain criminals do not deserve harsh punishment, rather that in reality harsh punishment is not an effective deterrent to crime. Utilitarian theory and retributive justice we're the foundations for such logic, but they are primarily theoretical positions. We need to look at what's really happening.

    If you have any follow up questions, please feel free to reach out to me..
  • RE: Harsh punishments are more effective in reducing crime -Vinod jadhav (11/16/15)
  • I think Punishments must be too harsher to dare anyone from breaking laws. You know why Inida is ahead in crime and low in GDP due to lack of strict laws and harsher punishments.eg in rape case. if it is proved that rapist is guilty then our Penal code must have a harsher punishment that it would make an exmaple for future crimes and no one will darre to do this heinous act again. Punishments like making him work in coal mines, garbage recycle plants, cleaning public toilets, not allowing him to meet his familly members,
  • RE: Harsh punishments are more effective in reducing crime -Teena Bhatia (09/08/14)
  • Crime has become an inseparable part of society. But this doesn’t means that we can allow them to impact our daily lives and create darkness even on the brightest days. Eliminating crime is must and harsh punishments are one of the effective ways to reduce crime. It stands especially true for the people who commit crime just for fun. The concept of punishment is based on two important theories. They are:

    • Utilitarian theory: The theory in which goal of punishments is to deter the future crimes is known as utilitarian theory. Deterrence is the objective of harsh punishments as it creates an aversion for the possible results of criminal actions. It is justified only when the harm that punishment prevents is more than punishment given to criminal. If it doesn’t deter, it adds to the human suffering. However, utilitarian theory believes that punishment may or may not have deterrent effect.

    • Retributive theory: Retributive theory focuses on the past actions of criminal. The moral blame is assigned to criminal and his future conduct doesn’t forms a base for deciding punishment. In it, punishment is must and justified as criminals have committed an immoral act and deserves harsh punishment. It basically follows the concept of an eye for an eye and a life for a life. The emphasis is on the moral connection between guilt and punishment. Punishment is seen as a question of accountability or responsibility. It argues that criminals should get the same pain or punishment that it has inflicted on the victim. Criminals pay their debt in form of punishment. Also, it calls punishment as a form of satisfaction which the family members or society gets by punishing criminals.

    Harsh punishments are advocated by Retributive theory as it is appropriate to punish a criminal as per nature of crime committed by him. And, yes it reduces crime as no matter what some people don’t learn easy lessons. If they are treated with sympathy, they take it as a weakness of society.