(This is an article by my husband Mike which I'd like to post here if that's OK.)
Four different attitudes to crime and punishment
The four principle approaches to crime and punishment are deterrence, retribution, intentionalism and environmentalism. All four have their advantages and disadvantages when considered from a logical, practical and/or moral viewpoint.
Let me illustrate the differences of emphasis between the various approaches. An advocate of deterrence will claim that the purpose of punishment is to deter crime. A retributionist claims that the purpose of punishment is to punish crime.
In the first case it is the consequences of the action that are seen as important. A criminal act is punished with the intention of discouraging other criminals from following the example.
In the second case it is the act itself that is punished and whether or not the punishment deters criminals is of no importance in the think
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