Replacing Punishment with Management of Crime
The paper involves a succinct and comprehensive analysis of the pros and cons of Hollin’s paradigm shift concept. It acknowledges that crime is caused by natural forces and continues being perpetrated if offenders are not punished. In addition, criminal offenses are prevalent in every society, even though the lifestyle determines the type and magnitude of the crime committed. The paper has taken all this into account while determining whether punishment can be replaced with the management of crime and the ramifications this might have on the community. It also involved an extensive research that surpassed obvious facts and perceptions in the quest of choosing a specific position after weighing the advantages and disadvantages of Hollin’s paradigm. Finally, it features a comprehensive analysis of the reasons the stance was chosen and how it was arrived at.
The Pros of Hollin’s Paradigm Shift Concept
One of the pros of Hollin’s paradigm shift concept is that it does not consider the flawed classical theory that exhibits inconsistencies that might discredit the criminal justice system. For instance, the classical theory is premised on the ideology that criminal behaviors stem from choice and free will, as well as other manageable factors (Hollin, 2004). For this reason, the theory attributes crime problems to individuals and overlooks the impact of the society and the environment. Besides, it is not accurate to state that everyone who engages in crime does so as a result of choice and rationalization (Akers, 2013). On the contrary, there is a selected group of individuals who are lured into committing crime by irrational thinking. Others engage in crime as a result of poor impulse control. Poor people who steal food to feed their starved family can serve as an apt example. In such a predicament, stealing has not taken place out of free will or choice but survival. Such inconsistencies make one appreciate the essence of Hollin’s paradigm shift concept that embraces science-based theory (Hollin, 2004). Besides, the paradigm embraces a holistic approach in the sense that it deals with individuals as per their predicaments, which is a major advantage.
Another advantage is that the paradigm shift lays emphasis on taking punishment away from the body and punishing the mind and soul instead. In addition, it addresses factors that are a precursor to human behaviors. In fact, this is the essence of replacing punishment with crime management and understanding why criminals orchestrate certain offenses (Hollin, 2004). The paradigm shift concept is unlike the classical theory where the punishment imposed differs depending on the severity of a particular crime. Therefore, those who commit crimes end up being punished as a way of making them suffer consequences of their actions (Akers, 2013). Besides, the penal system believes in locking offenders in a cage and giving them time to think about what they have done. This approach overlooks the emotional damage that triggers their actions to engage in crime. In fact, it might be difficult to reform a criminal with the system that only focuses on physical punishment and downplays whatever triggered the crime (Hollin, 2004). The rot in the penal system has also been on the rise recently. For instance, there are trends of privatization of the prison industry where imprisonment is becoming a for-profit business (Siegel, 2012). This points out the decay in the prison system and the classical theory of crime, in general, as it is becoming profit-oriented. However, Hollin’s paradigm shift concept does not consider the classical theory of crime and advocates science-based theory of human behavior (Hollin, 2004). The paradigm can thus be a relief to those who go through the penal system and eventually suffer irreparable emotional damage and other harsh emotional deprivations.
Hollin’s paradigm shift concept does not revolve around the prison system that primarily focuses on putting people behind bars at the expense of the public taxes. Therefore, it offers an alternative to prison. This is commendable because there has been an increase in prison population, which incurs spending that could be otherwise used in more productive state investments such as educating children. In addition, the paradigm shift concept can inculcate cognitive behavioral therapy that can reduce recidivism in adults and juveniles (Siegel, 2012). The concept seems to digress from the prison system because it is based on the notion that people can be conscious of their thoughts only if they make positive changes towards them. The cognitive behavioral therapy makes offenders improve their social skills, social styles, moral reasoning, and impulse management. It can be effective in the reduction of criminal behavior. Besides, the science-based theory of human behavior helps to restructure distorted behavior, as well as thinking and perception.
The Cons of Hollin’s Paradigm Shift Concept
One of the cons of Hollin’s paradigm shift concept is that it does not create unpleasant punishments that serve as crime deterrents. It only focuses on the management of crime and the resultant behavioral factors. In fact, crime rates can be significantly reduced when there are appropriate and severe punishments that make people refrain from committing crimes. This is the essence of deterrence where people who are sent to prison will be unlikely to commit crimes lest they go back to jail (Akers, 2013). In addition, the prison system also ensures incapacitation where offenders are separated from the public to ensure they do not repeat such crimes because they can pose threat to the community (Akers, 2013). This conforms to the cultural values that require offenders to be held accountable for their actions, which serves as a future lesson. Moreover, confining offenders in a controlled environment of a prison helps to protect the society from dangerous people.
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Furthermore, Hollin’s paradigm shift is not specific on how to handle different types of criminals. For instance, in the classical theory, the prison sentence and the severity of the punishment vary based on the committed crimes or atrocities. Moreover, the prison system can offer skills that convicts can use to find a means of livelihood once they are released from confinement (Siegel, 2012). The skills keep them busy and ensure they do not find themselves in the same predicaments that led to their criminal behavior. Such skills contribute to making offenders successful and productive citizens (Akers, 2013). Besides, the paradigm shift concept has been confined to behavioral therapy because there is no certainty that it fits all types of crimes.
The bottom line is that Hollin’s paradigm shift will only increase the number of people who become criminals. This is because many criminals have unchosen dispositions that might compel them towards violence or crime, in general. In this regard, the human science-based theory of human behavior might not be effective in the reduction of crime levels (Akers, 2013). Therefore, the paradigm can be a danger to the community because crime rates can be significantly reduced when the punishment is severe. An apt illustration is a comparison between drug-related crimes in the U.K and Singapore. The number of drug cases is lower in Singapore because it uses execution to punish drug criminals unlike the U.K that has embraced imprisonment as a form of punishment. However, the penal system needs to be re-structured to focus on effective rehabilitation as opposed to punishment per se. This change will play an integral role in reducing the crime rates without necessarily detaining same culprits repeatedly.
The concept of Hollin’s paradigm shift concept is logical because the classical system overlooks some social factors that cause deviant behaviors. An example is mental disabilities and poverty. However, even though the paradigm shift will reduce the cost of committing crime, it will also lead to an increase in individuals who resort to crime because the punishment is not as severe. Besides, the paradigm shift is vague on how to handle different types of criminals depending on the severity of their crimes. Similarly, it does not stipulate a system of separating criminals from the society where they might inflict more harm. Even though the paradigm shift encapsulates an alternative to the incarceration system, it might not be effective in reducing crime rates in the end. For this reason, the paradigm shift can be a danger to the community.