Punishment is the imposition of the undesirable outcome upon an individual or a group of people by either individual or another group in the authority. The punishment may also be administered to the animals. The cause is due to the undesirable behaviors that are not in accordance of the societal setting. The imposition can be a penalty, confinement, fine or denial of the pleasant thing. If the punishment is carried out in the system of the law is called formal punishment and if administered within the families is called Informal punishment. If the above-mentioned impositions are not legal or rather do not follow the set rules, is considered as breaking the rule, which may be because of malice and revenge. Legal punishment is one of the social practices, but among all other, is the most troubling .This is because it inflicts pain and other kinds of suffering such as deprivation (Marsh, 7).

Aims of the punishment

Many people oppose the legal punishment, and the morality of the punishment for it troubles and hurts much to the victim. Others think that perhaps legal punishment is regression of the past and best if forgotten. In addition, they believe that is institutionalized revenge and that having being enlightened, we should live in accordance of the humanitarians’ principle and therefore we are above that it. Nevertheless, not all are to the idea, they are outraged with it for is best practice in the society to get Justice (Garland, 6).

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Types of punishment

Punishment under Operant conditioning that means learning from reinforcement or punishment .He explained that there are two types of punishment, positive and negative punishment. A positive punishment is application of adverse stimulus to reduce the unpleasant behavior .It works by presenting the negative consequences after the unpleasant behaviors are exhibited. It makes that behavior less likely appear in the future. For instance, if one has a behavior of picking calls in class lesson during lecturing or class meetings, the lecture may teach on why is not good to have the phone in class. On the other hand, a negative punishment is the removal of certain pleasant stimulus when exhibited to the chances of the behavior happen in the future. For example, when the child fail to follow the instructions or act inappropriately, loses a token for good conduct that later can be cashed for a prize (Marsha, 8).

Forms of punishment

The commonly known punishments are corporal and capital punishment. Corporal punishment involves the physical infliction of the pain to the wrong doer for the purpose of disciplinary or reformation deliberately. In literally meaning is the infliction of pain in the body. It is commonly administered in schools, domestic and judicially settings. The corporal punishment is further divided in three categories, domestic corporal that is administered in by parents or guardians in family setting, judicial corporal punishment authorized by the prison authorities and school corporal punishment that is within the school setting. On the other hand, capital punishment is the legal process by the state to impose death sentence/death penalty because of the offender committing the capital offenses. In most Nations, is practiced as the punishment to religion dissidents, politicians and criminals (Burney, 9).

Human rights on rehabilitation

Although Punishment under constitutional laws in any country, the judicially systems in most countries are found corrupt. The human right groups helps fight against the abuse of rights of the people .For instance, they came with their policies similar to those of constitution laws .No one should be punished if there is no law, none should be claimed guilty of if the crime committed, is not under the law at the time it was committed. In addition, that anyone guilty of a criminal offence should not be imposed to a heavier penalty that was applicable during the time the offence was committed. They also have urged the government as well as the society to consider the rehabilitation process rather than punishment for some of crises are caused by poverty, trauma, stress among others (Grendon, 24)

Critics from the punishments

The critics argue that the death sentence is often applied capriciously and that in any society ,no one feels proud after execution, there is sign of guilt or shame after the execution of the criminal and perhaps this is evident that the practice good. Corporal punishment causes sexual deviance, most people experience sexual excitement when beating, also the person beaten may became sexually repressed .The argument further support that the buttocks are in most cases the place that punishment should be administered. This is evident in many African schools and perhaps suggesting that the argument is true. Another argument is that when administered severely; it degrades the victim and to some extent becomes shy depending on how others regard him/her.


Many nations have formed the new laws and policies which are under the implementation which their deterrence is future oriented with the intention to reduce future crimes.(Dignan,8). This is from the increased level of crimes in the different Nations.


  • Burney, Nathaniel. “Criminal Law.” The Illustrated Guide to Law. n.d. Web. 15 Sep. 2013.
  • Fletcher, George P. Basic Concepts of Criminal Law. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998. Print
  • Marsh, Ian, John Cochrane, and Gaynor Melville. Criminal Justice: An Introduction to Philosop Theories and Practice. New York: Routledge, 2004. Print

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