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  • Rashmi

    June 5, 2021 at 12:44 AM

    Every society admittedly, is composed of more peace-loving people and some anti-social elements or sociopaths, who sometimes also indulge in crimes of heinous nature. There are contentions by some that there should be an escalation in the prison sentences to act as deterrent while others argue that there are substitutes for crime mitigation. While I agree with the later view, this essay goes to discuss both these claims.

    In modern criminal law, the origin of jail sentencing for criminal offenders can be traced to the ‘theory of deterrent effect’ as part of jurisprudence wherein it was advocated that punishing violators of crimes with prison stay, deters them from repetition thereby reducing crime. Furthermore putting the wrong-doers behind bars distinguishes them from society thereby also protecting the peace and tranquility of the system. Often times these criminals are perverts and jailing them gives them opportunity for introspection and self realisation. For instance, “The Indian Law Journal” published an article about three hard core criminals, in Tihar prison, who have since reformed and attributed the jail sentence to be the most positive turning point in their lives helping them to achieve stability.

    On the other hand, in a report titled “ We Can Change”, based on a research by the Medical Council of India, conducted in ten prisons across India, published in the journal “India Today” it has been concluded that the prison stays more significantly solitary confinement, not only increases lunacy in criminals but also adversely impacts their emotional quotient, often escalating violent behaviour. The study also went on to claim that counselling the criminals goes a long way in reforming them and bringing them to mainstream society. In addition, accustoming such persons, to spiritual discourses and meditation camps has also been identified to have profound positive impact on their character thereby encouraging them to distance themselves from crimes.

    In conclusion, structured counselling of the violators by the law enforcers and creation of specific places by the Government, dedicated to their rehabilitation instead of prison detentions, where they are meticulously introduced and encouraged to participate in spiritual discussions along with meditation practices, shall irrefutably reduce crime and attain the core objective of controlling crime.

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