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Punishing a criminal has been the duty of every society as it is a wrong against the whole society.As number of crimes increased day to day, ways of punishment also varied from different forms. Criminologists recognized mainly four theories of punishment. They are noted below:
1.      Deterrent Theory
To deter means to discourage, restrict etc. As the name suggests, the the theory profess punishment which deter criminals to do further crimes or stops the criminal minded persons from committing crimes.The idea behind this theory is that punishment should be of such a nature which causes fear of it in other person who in consequence of such fear of punishment deter from committing crimes.This type of punishment favours in inflicting severe and harder punishment on the guilt.
2.      Preventive Theory
This theory says about prevention of crimes.Preventing a criminal by imposing some punishment is the object of this theory. Minor or major punishments are imposed according to crimes and thereby the guilty person is disabled from committing any more crime.
3.      Retributive Theory
This form of punishment is based on vengeance. If a person does a crime he is punished in proportion to the injury caused. The followers believed that such form of punishment ends any chance for a series of crimes between the wrongdoer and the victim as the victim or his relatives will have proper revenge against the wrongdoer.
4.      Reformative Theory
This theory envisages that the criminal's mind should be diverted to good ways by moral form of punishment. No one is born a criminal; the circumstances makes him a criminal. Therefore this followers of this theory believes that only punishment is not needed to stop the crimes. There should be an attempt to transform a criminal to a good citizen.
In the present society, many nations follow the reformative form of punishment.Every theory has its own merits and demerits. When the people tend to follow the retributive form, the criminal justice system in the nation punishes the offender for the crime. In India the judicial trend has is in favour of reformative punishment. Even death sentence is not awarded as a matter of course to a person committing murder. It is only awarded in rarest of rare cases.

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  1. very informative, like it so much!

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  2. Just as an addition to Prevention, I would recommend including incapacitation. The prisoner is prevented from committing crimes against society for the time being.

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