Main aims of punishment
Reform or rehabilitation:
Retribution or revenge: Aims to make the offender a
Often leads to better law-abiding person.
severe, even savage EG Ray Charles & Johnny
EG – Death Penalty
Remember these as “GET RRRID of crime”
What do you think about these forms of punishments?
• Durkheim (1893) believe that punishments
serves positive functions for society!
• Punishment reinforces social solidarity and
strengthen common values.
• Society reacts even more strongly to more
serious crimes such as murder and
Think of an actual crime case that
has OUTRAGED the population.
Why did people react this way? Will
their reaction prevent similar
crimes in the future?
Durkheim outlines a change from retributive justice to
Mainly found Severe, even
in traditional Retributive justice savage
societies. “Revenge” punishments.
Mainly found Punishment is
Restitutive justice to reform the
• According to Functionalists in
traditional societies people are quite
similar to each other so the offender
will stand out more.
• Response to a crime is therefore more
• Now, instead of violently punishing
the offender we tend to help and
reform them or make them repay
society or the victim.
• This is a MARCH OF PROGRESS view!
• Punishment is intended to reinforce the capitalist
system and oppress the working classes.
• Thompson (1977) – punishments have been used to
terrorise the poor into those in power!
• Melossi and Pavarini (1981) – prisoners do “time”
just like workers and both the workplace and prison
are ways of disciplining workers! We are all prisoners
in our own world!
• Offences by the wealthy are ignored or lightly
• The working class face harassment and injustice and
• The police and courts enforce Middle Class laws!
• In a way, Prisons are like a dumping ground for the
Can you think of three criticisms of these
Marxist view on punishment…BUT at
least ONE must be from a functionalist
• Michael Foucalt describes a movement over
history from sovereign power to disciplinary
• Sovereign Power: similar to Durkheim’s
restitutive justice. Punishments were savage and
cruel. They were a public spectacle. Physical
punishment was the norm and imprisonment was
• Disciplinary Power: Similar to restitutive
justice. This became more important from the
1800’s onwards. The aim was to change the
person through discipline and training! This was
done through work AND surveillance! Offenders
in prison or elsewhere would constantly be
watched and monitored and the intention was to
change their behaviour and their mind!
• Foucalt claims that disciplinary power is now
dominant. It exists not only in prisons but in
psychiatric treatment and many other ways
of dealing with deviants.
• He rejects the idea that there has been a
MOP towards more human control. We are
more controlled and monitored than ever!
Ideas of control have affected schools and
• We think we are being watched even when
we are not and our behaviour instantly
changes! We exercise self-discipline or self-
control as our mind becomes regulated!