Punishment for a committed crime is always a complicated question, which is why there is a wide variety of viewpoints regarding the punishment itself. There are two main mutually exclusive perspectives regarding a committed crime. The utilitarian theory of punishment seems more reasonable because it can prevent wrongdoing instead of simply delivering the punishment, which is one of the many flaws in the United States penal system.
The Advantages of the Utilitarian Approach
The utilitarian approach tends to be more effective because it aims to discourage people from committing future crimes. At the same time, the retributive perspective seeks to punish a person for the convicted crimes simply because the person deserves to be punished (Davis 214). It is fair to say that this perspective has a vindictive motive as its basis. The utilitarian approach allows more farseeing methods of lowering crime rates. For example, rehabilitation theory, as one of the utilitarian theories, aims to reintegrate the person into society (Davis 214). It is essential because some wrongdoings are too minor to stain a person’s future life and will encourage a person to commit another crime. Therefore, the utilitarian perspective allows for lower atrocity rates more effectively and prevents repeated offenses.
Problems of the Penal System of the United States
The United States penal system has some serious flaws, such as problems of social reintegration, inadequate punishments for minor crimes, and race bias. The American punishment system ruins a person’s future life because of a minor crime since it has many retributive elements. A crime that meant no harm, such as for example, owning drugs for personal use, cannot be punished severely. The American justice system must give a chance to a person to reintegrate into society and tender the means of handling harmless crimes.
The United States penal system is far from perfect and requires major reforms. Unfortunately, the retributive approach, which influences the American legislative system, cannot offer a proper way to reduce crime. Inadequately strict punishments, public denunciation of a criminal, and even a race bias ruin his life instead of allowing him to understand and redeem his wrongdoings.
Davis, Thomas. Forensic Psychology: Fact and Fiction. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2020.