Updated: Jul 31, 2021
What is Punishment \ Discuss the various kinds of Punishment. What is punishment - Punishment, according to the dictionary, involves the infliction of. pain or forfeiture; it is the infliction of a penalty, by the judicial arm of the State. But if the Sole purpose behind punishment is to cause physical pain to the wrongdoer, it serves very little purpose. However, if punishment is such as makes the offender realize the gravity of the offence committed by him, and to repent for it (thus neutralizing the effect of his wrongful act), it may be .said to have achieved its desired effect.
KINDS (TYPES) OF PUNISHMENT (1) Capital Punishment- In the history of punishments, capital punishment has always occupied a very important place. In ancient times, and even in the middle ages, sentencing offenders to death was a very common kind of punishment. Then, there arose a movement in the eighteenth century which raised its voice of protest against the inhuman nature of punishment.
Bentham can be considered as the spearhead of this movement. He analysed the causes of the crime and showed how punishment was to be adequate. According to him, punishment itself was evil, but a necessary evil. No punishment was to be inflicted unless it brought greater good. The object of capital punishments said to. be two-fold. By putting the offender to death, it may instill fear in the minds of others and teach them a lesson. Secondly, if the offender is an incorrigible one, putting him to death, it prevents the repetition of the crime. But it is evident that this punishment is not based on the reformative object of punishment, in the sense that it is a step of despair. There have been many arguments for and against this kind. of punishment. (2) Deportation - Next to capital punishment, a method of elimination of incorrigible or dangerous offenders is the punishment of deportation. In India, it used to be called transportation. This could hardly be a solution to the problem. If a man is dangerous in one society and if he is let loose in another society, he is likely to be equally dangerous there also.
(3) Corporal Punishment - Corporal punishment included beating flogging (or whipping) and torture. This was a very common kind of punishment in ancient and medieval times. In ancient Iran and ancient India, and even in times of the Mughal Rulers and the Marathas, whipping was commonly resorted to.
The main object of this kind of punishment is deterrence. It has been long ago realized that this kind of punishment is not only inhuman but also ineffective. The person who undergoes this kind of punishment may become more antisocial than he was before. The criminal tendencies in him might _ be hardened and reforming him might become impossible. Though whipping was one of the kinds of punishment originally provided in the Penal Code, it was abolished in 1955.
(4) Imprisonment - This kind of punishment, if properly used, may serve all three objects of the punishment. It may be a deterrent because it makes an example of the offender to others. It may be preventive because it disables the offender, at least for some time, from repeating the offense, and it might, (if properly used) given opportunities for reforming the character of the offender.
(5) Solitary Confinement, - Solitary confinement is an aggravated kind of imprisonment. This kind of punishment exploits fully the sociable nature of man, and by denying him the society of his fellow beings, it seeks to inflict pain on him. It has been felt by many criminologists that this kind of punishment is inhuman and perverse. It is possible that this might turn a man of sound mental health into a lunatic. If used in excess, it may inflict permanent harm on the offender, though in limited cases, if used in proportion, this kind of punishment may be useful.