Debate Info

Rehabilitation Retribution
Debate Score:17
Total Votes:18
More Stats

Argument Ratio

side graph
 Rehabilitation (8)
 Retribution (4)

Debate Creator

DaWolfman(3322) pic

Rehabilitation or retribution within the criminal justice system?

Should the criminal justice system focus more on rehabilitation than retribution?


Side Score: 12


Side Score: 5
2 points

I see deterrence, incapacitation, restoration, and rehabilitation as legitimate reasons to subject someone to a penalty.

Retribution is an all-round lose situation. The victim loses something, the criminal loses freedom or life, the taxpayers lose money.

The only think anyone can possibly gain from pure retribution is that the victim or their family feels a sense of revenge being exacted upon the criminal, but I see that as another loss rather than gain. People should be encouraged to let go, not to harbour bitterness or anger. And looking at society as a whole, retribution encourages a general cycle of anger and hatred.

Side: Rehabilitation
1 point

Could one not make the argument that those suffering from Antisocial Personality Disorder are unable to be treated?

That there are specific people whom didn't commit murder as a crime of passion, however more as a crime to view the suffering of another?

Side: Rehabilitation
1 point

I don't know how to give a full answer to this. From what I know, while psychopathy isn't curable, some (many?) psychopaths can be induced to follow the law with a clear reward-and-punishment system. In fact, while the most high profile psychopaths are the ones in jail, there are many psychopaths who lead law-abiding lives - they are probably more ruthless than most and more willing to bend the rules, but they have figured out it's to their own advantage that they don't get in trouble with the law.

Based on this understanding of psychopathy, I'd say that the way to "treat" criminal psychopaths would be to train them to consider consequences before they act (consequences to themselves and anything/one else they might care about), and appreciate the benefits of delayed gratification.

But if this is wrong and there simply is no way to treat them, I'd see deterrence/incapacitation as reasons to keep them separated from society - not because we want to punish them for the hell of it, but because society needs to protect itself from them.

Side: Rehabilitation
Built(4) Disputed
1 point

What about people who are mentally insane?

There are some people who are incurable, which I think is what dawolfman was getting at.

Side: Retribution
sayyad99(773) Disputed
1 point

Punishment will have no effect on people from the following categories according to several criminological and correctional theories which i fully support;

1) A person who is not in a right state of mind or mentally unstable

2) A person with a history of being punished

3) A person who is not afraid of being punished

4) A person with a passion for committing crimes

People who are mentally insane needs treatment because they are unaware of their actions and in the face of the law, they are not able to develop the intent require to commit a crime, therefore punishment will have no effect on them. People cannot be cured sometimes i agree but they can still be treated in the same way that AIDS cant be cured but it can be treated.

Side: Rehabilitation
1 point

If someone is classified as criminally insane, they should be placed in a secure mental facility as they currently are. Every reasonable measure should be taken to treat their problems - many mental illnesses can be alleviated with the right treatment - but even if they're entirely incurable they may still need to be kept away from general society for our good, and sometimes for their own good as well. This is where the "incapacitation" comes in.

Side: Retribution

The criminal should be analyzed and then counseled to eradicate the bad behavior so he can then be a productive person in society.

Side: Rehabilitation
2 points

Revenge is sweet.

The minimum length for an argument is 50 characters. The purpose of this restriction is to cut down on the amount of dumb jokes, so we can keep the quality of debate and discourse as high as possible.

Side: Retribution
1 point

When someone commits a crime, he gains an unfair advantage by not bounding himself to the rules, restrictions, and norms of society. Without exercising self-restraint, a criminal can shoot someone else, steal a car, break into a bank, sexually harass all of his fellow-employees, or rape two women. To restore the VICTIMS, to deter the CRIMINAL from committing these acts, and to responsibly treat people as ENDS IN THEMSELVES as we do for any other procedure in America, retribution MUST be valued above rehabilitation. I'm not saying we can't have both, but anyone who favors rehab over retribution is an idiot.

Side: Retribution