Criminal Behaviors, Punishments and Sentencing in the Criminal Justice System Essay

This paper will give the reader an understanding of criminal behavior and how it can greatly impact the offenders punishment, and sentencing in the criminal justice system. There are many mechanisms of criminal behavior, and many forms of punishing offenders. The background of an offender, will impact the decision of how long the offender will be sentenced, which will lead to the beginning of the correctional system. Criminal behaviors, Punishments and Sentencing in the Criminal Justice System What is crime?Crime is a violation of a criminal law. A criminal law is that portion of the law which defines crimes and specifies criminal punishments. Criminal behaviors, punishments, and sentencing all lead to the entering the correctional system.

According to the 1967 President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice wrote that corrections is America’s prisons, jails, juvenile training schools, probation, and paroles. Criminal Behavior Why did the criminal do it? This question represents the essence of criminal behavior.To figure out the motivation behind crime, criminal behavior professionals use a variety of resources and techniques to answer this difficult question. They examine the history of crime, the sociological, biological, psychological and economic factors that contribute to crime. Theories are developed and tested using research, and data to support a hypothesis.

The type of crime is studied, the evidence, the relationship between the criminals and their victims, and finally the factors associated with criminal behavior are examined.These include family life, personality disorders, health, substance abuse, sexual disorders, age, and gender. Criminal behavior has always been a focus for psychologists due to the age old debate between nature and nurture (Jones, 2005).

Research has been conducted regarding this debate which has resulted in a conclusion that both genes and environment do play a role in the criminality of an individual. This evidence has been generated from a number of twin, family, and adoption studies as well as laboratory experiments (Jones, 2005).Research has stated hat it is more often an interaction between genes and the environment that predicts criminal behavior. Having a genetic predisposition for criminal behavior does not determine the actions of an individual, but if they are exposed to the right environment, then their chances are greater for engaging in criminal or anti-social behavior (Jones, 2005). Punishments Before the times of incarceration corporal or physical punishments were the most common response to crime for centuries. Corporal punishment is physical punishments, or those involving the body.Criminal punishments of the past generally consisted of flogging, branding, mutilation, exile, transportation, and public humiliation.

Flogging or whipping was the most common physical punishment through the ages. Flogging whips were from simple leather straps or willow branches to heavy, complicated instruments designed to inflict a maximum of pain. The traditional form of whip is the cat-o’-nine-tails. Branding was practiced by the Roman society. Criminals were branded with a mark or letter signifying their crimes.

The criminals were usually branded on their foreheads or other parts of their faces to warn others of an offender’s criminal history. Ancient and medieval societies used mutilation as a form of corporal punishment. Rome offenders were mutilated according to the law of retaliation or lex talionis.

Mutilation leaves a permanent scar and disfiguration. This punishment was used as a deterrent effect to criminals. Early Roman law established the punishment of exile. Exile was regarded as akin to a death sentence, since the banished person could no longer depend on his or her former community for support or protection.

Transportation England’s way of getting rid of felons, and transporting them to newly discovered lands. By the beginning of the American Revolution and estimated 50,000 prisoners had been sent to the New World. Public humiliation was another form of corporal punishment. Stocks and pillory consistent of a prisoner in a sitting position with feet and hands locked in a frame. And a prisoner in a pillory was made to stand with their head and hands locked in place. Both of these devices exposed the prisoners to public scorn. Pillory was abolished in 1834.

In the 1600’s is when prisons were made the primary place of punishment.Beginning in the mid 1700’s a number of correctional reformers fought the use of corporal punishments and sought to introduce more humane forms of punishment. Among those reformers were Cesare Beccaria, Jeremy Bentham, and John Howard. Sentencing Sentencing is the imposition of a criminal sanction by a sentencing authority, such as a judge. The philosophy underlying criminal sentencing is that people must be held accountable for their actions and the harm they cause.

Western society has a long tradition of sentencing criminal offenders to some form of punishment.The central purpose of criminal punishment is to maintain social order. The goals of criminal sentencing today are revenge, retribution, just deserts, deterrence, incapacitation, rehabilitation or reformation, and restoration. Sentencing options used today are fines and monetary sanctions, probation, alternative or intermediate sentences, incarceration, and capital punishment.

Sentencing models varies across the United States. These models include indeterminate sentences, determinate sentences, voluntary or advisory sentencing guidelines, presumptive sentencing guidelines, and mandatory minimum sentencing.Recent laws have increased penalties for criminal offenses, especially violent crimes and repeat offenders.

One example is the three-strike law which mandates a life sentence for the third violent felony conviction. Conclusion Understanding want causes criminal behavior can help society develop ways to predict at risk people, and develop positive programs to deter the behavior and the crimes committed. The mind of a criminal is an ongoing research in progress. The severity of the punishment of the offender must match the crime. Punishing of criminals have greatly changed from ancient times.

The use of corporal punishment has evolved into modern correctional practices. There is a wide range of sentencing. The question still today is to punish or reform.

Some of society believes that instead of punishment, rehabilitation and psychological treatment and education will make criminals less prone to future law violations.ReferencesJones, C. M. (2005, 02). Genes, environment and criminal behavior. Retrieved 10 31, 2010, from Personality Research.

org: http://www. personalityresearch. org/papers/jones. html Smykla, F. S.

(2009). Corrections in the 21ST Century, Fifth Edition. McGraw-Hill.