5 Theories of Punishment

5 Theories of Punishment

What is Punishment?

Punishment is the penalty on someone as a result of their wrongdoing.

Bare Acts

There are five kinds or theories of punishment. They are:-

  1. Deterrent Theory.
  2. Preventive Theory.
  3. Reformative Theory.
  4. Retributive Theory.
  5. Expiatory Theory.

1. Deterrent Theory

The object of this theory is not only to prevent the wrongdoer from doing a wrong subsequently but also to make him an example for society and such other person who have criminal tendencies.

Locke is the supporter of deterrent theory and said that “every commissioner of crime should be made a ‘bad bargain’ for the offenders.”

2. Preventive Theory

The object of this theory is to prevent or to disable the offenders from repeating the offense by giving them punishment. A supporter of preventive theory is Paton.

3. Reformative Theory

This theory remarks that the object of punishment should be the reform of the criminal. Mahatma Gandhi believes that “Hate the sin, not the sinner.”

4. Retributive Theory

This theory proposes tit for tat, eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth. The punishment has to be proportional to the crime committed. The believers of this theory say that criminals must suffer pain. Retributive theory is the most ancient theory of justice.

5. Expiatory Theory

The theorists of this theory say that the object of the punishment is self-realization. If the offender, after committing an offense, realizes his guilt, then he must be forgiven.

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