Crimes of Punishment: America's Culture of Violence

Crimes of Punishment: America's Culture of Violence

Crimes of Punishment: America's Culture of Violence

Crimes of Punishment: America's Culture of Violence

Excerpt

Our society’s punitive social systems and methods for dealing with violence and misbehavior both in children and adults are actually exacerbating the maladies they are ostensibly designed to correct. Punishment does not correct or prevent violence; punishment causes violence.

The corporal punishment of children and the incarceration of adults are forms of violence, and both children and adults who have been subjected to these harsh punishments tend to respond by themselves becoming more violent to others.

This book presents two different kinds of arguments against the use of punishment: the moral (or ethical) approach, and the scientific approach. Scientific studies on the effects of punishment of both child and adult offenders demonstrate that punishment tends to be counterproductive. Not only does punishment fail to accomplish the goals of correcting or deterring the offender from committing further offenses, it actually tends to foster, in both groups, more antisocial behavior.

My opposition to punishment is founded on my belief in nonviolence and the teachings of the great spiritual leaders who teach us, as Jesus and the Buddha did, to be nonviolent and to be compassionate to everyone. The reasons I give for abolishing the punishment of children and adults are similar to the points put forward by those who have supported a variety of nonviolent movements. More specifically, my opposition to punishment is also informed by a half-century of professional experience as a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst with patients with whom I have observed and studied the destructive effects of punishment.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.