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Government 1A Lesson 60: Is restitution to victims better for society than jail sentences for criminals?

I’ll be honest that when I first read the topic of todays essay, I thought that jail sentences for criminals would be better for society. After reading over what’s really being asked here, I came to the conclusion, for myself, that it depends on the kind of situation and the crime committed. Restitution for victims, the way I understand it, means for example if the criminal stole something from the victim, then that item or whatever it may be should be returned to the victim. So in that particular situation, I’m guessing they are asking what is better, to simply return whats been stolen to the victim or just throw in the criminal to jail.

As for just throwing the criminal in jail, that also depends, because if a particular criminal murders someone, then thats a good reason to throw a criminal in jail and this decision is indeed better for the society.

Allow me to go in depth of the reasons why criminals would commit a crime:

Rational choice theory: People generally act in their self-interest and make decisions to commit crime after weighing the potential risks (including getting caught and punished) against the rewards.

Social disorganization theory: The kind of environment you’re in can say a lot. Physical and social surroundings can determine the potential act of a crime. For example, shady streets and neighborhoods have a bigger crime rate rather than good, normal looking neighborhoods. Right?

Strain theory: A lot of people have the same aspirations, dreams, and desires as others. Some work hard while others choose to get around it through crime.

Social learning theory: People develop motivation to commit crime and the skills to commit crime through the people they associate with.

Social control theory: Most people would commit crime if not for the controls that society places on individuals through institutions such as schools, workplaces, churches, and families.

Labeling theory: People in power decide what acts are crimes, and the act of labeling someone a criminal is what makes him a criminal. Once a person is labeled as a criminal, society takes away his opportunities, which may ultimately lead to more criminal behavior.

Biology and genetics: Poor diet, mental illness, and bad brain chemistry have been said as explanations for crime.

If a criminal had mental illness, in that situation, not only would he go in jail for, I don’t know murdering someone, that criminal would need a therapist and rehabilitation for his wrong doings and therapy would help the criminal become a better person over time. This would also help the society.

In conclusion, it depends on the situation whether restitution has been given to the victim or just throwing the criminal in jail. Thats why there’s a thing called criminology (which is a study of crime and the criminals) and criminal justice (which is the delivery of justice to those who have committed crimes). Through tough situations in life there are such professions that go through series of trials to defend the innocent and punish the imposter.

Thanks for reading this essay. I hope you liked it or learned something new from it. I’ll be posting more soon and have a great rest of your day!

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