Modern Thinking on Theories of Punishment
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The author is a third-year law student at the University of Rhodesia, and submitted this essay in the normal course of his studies. Taking the classical theories of punishment in turn, he concludes that in the light of modern research and thought retribution, deterrence and prevention all have a place in the assessment of the most appropriate punishment but are greatly outweighed by rehabilitation—the need to make convicted criminals into better and not worse members of society. A promising method of rehabilitation is to switch the emphasis from punishment to compensation and reconciliation by putting the prisoner on normal, constructive labour under conditions that will give him an incentive to work hard in order to pay off his debt as soon as possible.