It has always been argued that criminals across the world should get a harsh punishment for their illegal actions to prevent further cases and reduce the amount of resources spent. However, the two parties state different opinions and provide unique facts that do not allow law representatives to change the way they sentence criminals. Right realism aims to show that every individual should be responsible for their actions, and specific measures should be applied depending on the level of crime (Jemimah, 2017). However, left realism states that ethical issues are the main causes of crimes, and people should stay radical, humanistic, and pessimistic about achieving the desired level of equality (Jemimah, 2017). While right realism is more focused on punishing individuals, it is important to consider that many criminal actions appear due to problems like discrimination and other ethical issues.
Right Realism Proposals
The main purpose of followers of right realism is to reduce crime by making punishments harsher. Non-violent crimes should also be punished strictly to avoid every type of crime and ensure a decreasing trend. Right realism theory proposes that crime greatly affects poor people and that these people are the main reason for crime. The purpose of punishment, in this case, is to decrease a low level of socialization and individual growth (Brown et al., 2016).
Moreover, every person has different thoughts, and it is difficult to understand what actions can follow after the first crime. Consequently, by making punishments harsher, it should be easier for the right realism representatives to ensure that similar situations will not happen in the future. Additionally, strict rules should not allow criminals to build a specific mindset that pushes them to commit illegal actions.
Changes in Society
The right realism followers influence societies by showing that crime prevention might not decrease the significance of the problem without displaying the changes. If this movement works well and is considered the main strategy in a specific country, the social consequences in communities might not be important. Every person will be equal, and no discrimination or racism should be related to the proposals of the right realism. Right realism influences governmental workers more successfully in the UK and the USA, creating more laws based on the movement’s ideas (Hall and Winlow, 2018). Consequently, people in communities might generate more trust in the government and follow the right realism to protect their safety.
Problems that Might be Faced by Societies
Even though the movement states that punishments should be harsh, it pays more attention to street crimes than financial corruption. In some cases, illegal activities related to robberies or murders are less costly and harmful to the surroundings, and this problem might bring additional issues. It might also be unfair to those who have committed a crime under the influence of affective circumstances like arguments or life threats. If domestic violence happens in a family, one of the partners might be able to kill to defend themselves or their children. However, in this case, the punishment can be eased, but the right realism does not support this division of penalties.
Left Realism Proposal
Left realism brings a contrasting idea that stands for the feelings of society. Not only should government and police workers be responsible for their actions and act wisely, but other parties also have to care about preventing crime. The followers of this movement usually see the problem in the country’s economic factors and state that crimes are common in capitalist communities (Mooney, 2022). Left realism aims to show that, depending on the status in the community, people should receive different punishments and sentences. Every case is unique and should be studied deeply to ensure that the murderer and the victim are treated equally. Consequently, this method can help to reduce the level of crime as every situation will be observed from different perspectives.
Moral Issues in Left Realism
Even though left realism protects every individual and proposes that every person should be treated ethically to decrease crime, some moral problems continue to appear. The issue of left realism can be seen during the execution process as it is more idealistic than realistic, and some legal or ethical consequences like choice difficulty might occur. Moreover, because the concept aims to protect the weak part of society, it might be argued that women can commit more crimes and receive light punishments (Hall & Sleat, 2017). This aspect may increase the level of protests from men who do not have knowledge in this sphere but meet reality.
The Work of Crime Prevention
Crime prevention works when governments spend less money on the reduction of crime and see positive statistics over time. In case legal authorities decide to follow the proposal of the right realism. In that case, they might see a decreasing trend in crime by equalling punishments for different types of lawbreaking. However, if they prefer to stick to the left realism, the increasing crime problem can be solved by staying more concentrated on specific cases with the help of judges and lawyers. Both movements have advantages and disadvantages, and they can work equally efficiently. Nevertheless, every state has different laws, and by evaluating them, the concepts might work efficiently or cause more issues.
Brown, D., Pountney, L. and Maric, T. (2016) AQA sociology for A-level book 2. Hodder Education.
Hall, E. and Sleat, M. (2017) ‘Ethics, morality and the case for realist political theory’, Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, 20(3), pp. 278-295.
Hall, S. and Winlow, S. (2018) Ultra-realism. Routledge.
Jemimah, D. (2017) ‘Critical review of left and right realism’, Ideate, 17, pp. 15-17.
Mooney, J. (2022) ‘Left realism: “Taking crime seriously”’, Criminology and Criminal Justice.