A summary of the article

English 102 Article Presentation: Evaluating a Source Assignment: As a group, you will choose a scholarly article that could be relevant to your research and evaluate its usefulness as a research source. All group members must read and annotate the article and discuss its qualities. The group will then prepare an annotated bibliography entry in which you summarize and assess the article. On your assigned presentation date, you will explain your findings to the class in a 5-10 minute presentation. All group members must participate equally in the presentation. Use the Purdue OWL’s explanation and examples of annotated bibliography entries to help you write your own. When you assess your article, use the CRAAP Test to help determine its usefulness. Your final presentation must include:My part in this Assignment are only : 1- A summary of the article ? A-?? Analysis of the source of the article, including both the author and the publisher, and your assessment of the source’s authority.


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Theory in Action, Vol. 10, No. 2, April (© 2017)
Why Retribution Matters: Progression not Regression
Kimberly Collica-Cox1 and Larry Sullivan2
The only logical philosophy to serve punishment goals is retribution.
Retribution provides the necessary catalyst to execute the most important
elements of any sentence – equity and social debt. Retribution is not
revenge; it affords the offender a just punishment, while satisfying societal
needs for discipline and order. We must punish transgression against societal
norms and laws in order to restore and maintain communal balance. Pain or
suffering, associated with the retributive model, are not bad in and of
themselves; the conceptual notion of pain is a model to embrace rather than
to avoid. Punishment should not be pleasant and should serve a formidable
purpose. Pain, although not a direct goal, begets remorse, introspection, and
repentance that serve to further other punishment objectives such as
rehabilitation and deterrence. These philosophies provide complementary
goals of punishment but their true value/purpose are only promoted with
retribution as the principle goal of punishment. [Article copies available for a
fee from The Transformative Studies Institute. E-mail address:
http://www.transformativestudies.org ©2017 by The Transformative Studies
Institute. All rights reserved.]
KEYWORDS: Retribution, Rehabilitation, Punishment, Social Contract, Kant,
Plato, Consequentialism, Deontology.
Kimberly Collica-Cox, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Criminal Justice and
Security Department with PACE University. Prior to teaching, Dr. Collica worked for a
women’s correctional facility in NYS coordinating an HIV prison-based peer education
program and for a NY jail supervising their jail-based transitional services unit. She
trains professionals in HIV- related issues in the NYS Metropolitan area and is a certified
ACA (American Correctional Association) and PREA (Prison Rape Elimination Act)
Auditor. Her research has focused on female inmates, rehabilitation, reintegration issues
surrounding HIV prison-based peer programming, and female correctional executives.
Address correspondence to: Kimberly Collica-Cox, PACE University, 41 Park Row, New
York, NY 10038; e-mail: kcollicacox@pace.edu.
2 Since 1995, Larry Sullivan, Ph.D., has been the chief library administrator of the
criminal justice library at John Jay College. He directs the operations of the largest
criminal justice library in the world; serves as associate dean; teaches graduate courses
(e.g. Advanced Criminology, Punishment and Responsibility) and directs Ph.D.
dissertations. He has published several books, including, The Prison Reform Movement,
The Brownsville Boys: Jewish Gangsters of Murder, Inc., and Bandits and Bibles:
Convict Literature in Nineteenth-Century America. He is an author, coauthor or editor of
many other works. Dr. Sullivan is also an independent Appraiser of rare books,
manuscripts, prints, photographs, coins, paintings and Works of Art. .
1937-0229 ©2017 Transformative Studies Institute
Kimberly Collica-Cox and Larry Sullivan
The only logical philosophy to serve punishment goals, especially in
light of frequent scandalous prison releases and reentry philosophies, is
retribution. The guilty must be punished, the innocent safeguarded, and
scales of justice carefully balanced as we weigh the needs of victims.
Retribution provides the necessary catalyst to execute the most important
elements of any sentence – equity and social debt. Retribution is not
revenge; it affords the offender a just punishment, while satisfying
societal needs for discipline and order. We must punish transgression
against societal norms and laws in order to restore and maintain
communal balance. Pain, or suffering, associated with the retributive
model, are not bad in and of themselves, but follow Plato in Georgias
and give beneficial results for the offender and society. The conceptual
notion of pain is a model to embrace rather than to avoid. Punishment
should not be pleasant and should serve a formidable purpose. The
authors will argue that pain, although not a direct goal, begets remorse,
introspection, and repentance that serve to further other punishment
objectives such as rehabilitation and deterrence. These philosophies
provide complementary goals of punishment but their true value and
purpose are only promoted with retribution as the principle goal of
Since the early 1800s, incarceration has been widely utilized in the
United States as a means to punish (Rothman, 1971). With only five
percent of the world’s population, the United States leads in
incarceration rates confining one-fourth of the nation’s inmates (Liptak,
2008). The U.S. has over seven million individuals under correctional
supervision; two million are imprisoned in our Nation’s jails and prisons
(BJS, 2010). Incarceration expenditures in the United States exceed
thirty-nine billion dollars annually, ranging from $14, 603 in Kentucky to
$60,076 in New York as the cost to incarcerate one state prison inmate
for one year (Henrichson & Delaney, 2012; Myser, 1996). With twothirds of all inmates recidivating after a three year period, we are left to
wonder if prison is truly meeting its objective (BJS, 2010). During the
last decade, at least 30 states have revised their sentencing laws in an
attempt to reduce prison populations; some feel the trend will continue
while others caution that emptying the prisons, particularly within the
Theory in Action
state prison system (whose populations differs from the federal system)
could lead to a surge in crime (Palazzolo, 2016).
Punishment and/or imprisonment can serve a variety of goals. There
are four possible social benefits derived from punishment: retribution,
deterrence, rehabilitation, and incapacitation; prison’s ability to meet
each objective effectively is difficult to determine (DiIulio, 1996).
Disappointingly, we know very little about the retributive effects of
imprisonment (Marsh, Fox & Hedderman, 2009).
Historical analyses of our approach to criminal justice responses of
social transgressions are firmly rooted in retributive methods, dating
back to the Code of Hammuarbi (approximately 2250 B.C.) and the Law
of Moses (Book of Exodus, 21:23-25). Our views of retribution changed
in the late 17th and early 18th Centuries during the Age of the
Enlightenment, and our methods of executing such punishment changed
with the birth of the American Prison system (Johnston, 2009; Melossi &
Pavarini, 1981; Pray, 1987). Retribution, however, always continued as
one of the primary goals of punishment. In its simplest form, retribution
is equated with proportionality; offenders should be punished according
to the harm inflicted (Clark, 2006). We, as a society, are “morally
obligated to punish wrongdoers” (Haist, 2009, 794). This satisfies
society’s needs for justice, and possibly the victim’s need for revenge,
but what does it do for the offender? The offender is the third element
requiring further examination.
Retribution opens the door and allows us to satisfy other punishment
outcomes, most importantly, deterrence and rehabilitation, which can
begin to take shape once the offender recognizes and takes responsibility
for his/her violation of the social contract. Absent the opportunity to
further rehabilitative and deterrent goals, incarceration, as a form of
retribution, becomes abusive and without value or merit. The prison
takes the form of the parent and seeks to punish one who is unable to
follow the rules. If the offender does not learn a valuable lesson, nor
understand the consequences of his/her actions, the punishment serves no
purpose, thereby making incapacitation the only logical goal of
punishment. Incapacitation serves no purpose as it does not stop the
commission of crimes, only the location of where those crimes are
How to execute punishment and discipline effectively can be found in
the parenting literature. The authoritarian discipline of children has been
Kimberly Collica-Cox and Larry Sullivan
linked to antisocial behavior (Grogran-Kaylor, 2005), yet, lax parenting
with inconsistent discipline also begets similar results (Grogran-Kaylor,
2005; Hirschi and Gottfredson, 1990; Schaffer, Clark & Jeglic, 2008).
Failure to discipline can prove to be more detrimental than harsh
discipline (Schaffer et al., 2008), while failure to discipline consistently
is also more detrimental than disciplining harshly (Hirschi &
Gottfredson, 1990). Therefore, if one is not punished, no lesson is
learned. If one is punished without learning a lesson, the punishment
serves no value. Therefore we can learn from the parenting literature that
when one fails to follow the rules, he/she must be punished consistently.
Once the punishment has been given and the individual recognizes that
he/she did something wrong, a valuable lesson can be taught. In the
matter of disciplining and punishing adults, the initial punishment serves
the retributive purpose, the subsequent “lesson” serves the deterrent and
rehabilitative purposes. The latter cannot occur without the former.
Retribution is not evil or wicked in and of itself. It is not wrong to
punish one for violating the law. The Kantian Social Contract requires a
compliance with the law for citizens to live peacefully and harmoniously
(Riley, 2007). It is our nature to be social. Although we are free to
choose our own paths, we are only free to choose such paths when our
actions and behaviors do not negatively affect or impede the freedoms of
others (Kneller, 1998). The social contract does not allow one’s
individual liberties to be held to a higher level of importance over
another. Failure to recognize this violates the contract; punishment of the
violator helps to restore the importance and validity of the contract, in
addition to promoting cohesiveness among its citizens. According to
Hegel (1979), society demonstrates support for our governing laws when
they show support for punishing those that violate such laws. Those who
do not support punishment, inadvertently support the transgressor.
Punishment provides norm restoration by conquering the offender’s
misdeeds. If one chooses not to support punishment, they are part of a
problem rather than part of a solution to maintain peace, harmony, and
communal balance.
One with intrinsically good will or good intent will act according to
their duty/obligation to the moral law/social contract. Someone who has
violated the law has forsaken their moral duty and abandoned the social
contract. The state has an obligation to punish these moral/legal
Theory in Action
transgressors (Hernberg, 1990). The morality of one’s behavior can be
determined by following Kant’s categorical imperatives:
1. Act only according to that maxim, whereby you can at the same
time, will, that it should become a universal law (i.e., is this a
good rule to apply to everyone universally and unequivocally?).
2. Act in such a way that you treat humanity, never merely as a
means to an end, but always at the same time as an end (i.e.,
never use others for self-seeking purposes; think about the needs
of others).
3. Act as though you were a law making member of a universal
kingdom of ends (i.e., If you had the power to pass a law
allowing for such behavior, would it be a good law to pass?).
Justice via a retributive approach is the only logical goal of punishment.
For those who support rehabilitation over retribution, we must question
whether everyone we punish can be rehabilitated because the goal of
punishment must apply to everyone unequivocally. We can answer this
question in the negative, thereby, demonstrating the improbable nature of
rehabilitation as the primary principle of punishment.
As mentioned earlier, two-thirds of all prisoners will return within a
three year period after release (BJS, 2010). Recidivism rates are
extraordinary and indicative of a broken system, yet, there is public
outcry to reduce what was deemed as harsh sentencing policies for nonviolent drug offenders. Another question to examine is whether
retributive punishments justly serve these offenders. In an attempt to
reduce overcrowding and alleviate the harsh sentences imposed on drug
offenders, the Justice Department, under a plan espoused by President
Obama, began the process of releasing 6,000 prisoners in October 2015
(Horwiz, 2015). With a proposed change in the Federal Sentencing
guidelines, 46,000 federal drug offenders could eventually be released
early, with 8,500 released within the next year (Horwiz, 2015).
Due to decreasing crime rates and a need to reduce prison costs during
the economic recession (i.e., Rikers Island in NYC spent approximately
$100,000 per inmate in 2014) (Ford, 2015), deincarceration is now a
bipartisan project but it is a misleading one. The numbers cited for
Kimberly Collica-Cox and Larry Sullivan
deincarceration are the numbers derived from federal populations, which
do not adequately reflect incarcerated populations as a whole. Over two
million people are incarcerated but only 200,000 of them are federal
offenders (Charen, 2015). Most of our incarcerated offenders are
incarcerated for violent crimes but typically violent crime is a state, not a
federal, matter (Charen, 2015). Fifty-four percent of our male prisoners
are incarcerated for a violent crime (Carson, 2015). Even when offenders
are incarcerated for non-violent crimes, it does not mean that they are not
violent, as discovered by one study reporting an estimated 21% of nonviolent offenders being rearrested for violent crimes (Riley, 2015). Riley
(2015) highlights that our imprisonment rates are higher when compared
to other European nations because our rate of violent crime is higher. He
proposes that if we are looking to maintain cost-effectiveness, how does
the cost of incarceration compare with the cost of crime, particularly the
cost of loss of life?
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS, 2015) recidivism
rates are higher for non-violent offenders when compared to their violent
counterparts. Within three years, over 73% of property offenders, 66% of
drug offenders and 62% of public order offenders were rearrested,
compared to 61% of violent offenders. In regard to reconviction, 53% of
property offenders, 47% of drug offenders and 42% of public order
offenders were reconvicted, compared to 39% of violent offenders. With
these statistics in mind, it seems clear that the philosophy of
rehabilitation is not always functional and therefore, cannot serve as the
goal of our criminal justice system.
The more problematic population for the retributive goal of
punishment relates to our population of mentally ill offenders, who are
deserving of deincerceration and could be serviced more efficaciously in
mental health facilities. The Community Mental Health Act of 1963 led
to the closing of many community-based mental health facilities during
the 1970s (DeMoss, 2015). Communities were overwhelmed and many
mentally ill persons found themselves in conflict with the law. The high
number of incarcerated persons is a consequence of society’s failure to
treat mentally ill persons in the community (Swanson, 2015). There are
44 states which house more mentally ill offenders in prison/jail than
within psychiatric facilities (Swanson, 2015). Mental illness is two to
four times higher among incarcerated populations than found in the
general community (Prins & Draper, 2009). There is an estimated
479,900 housed in jails, 705,600 in state prisons, and 78,800 in federal
prisons, with female offenders presenting with far more mental health
problems than their male counterparts (James & Glaze, 2006).
Theory in Action
Correctional facilities are often ill-equipped to deal with the large
number of psychiatric issues and sadly, many offenders with mental
illness find themselves in solitary or returning to the facility after release
because they have difficulty conforming to the law (DeMoss, 2015).
There is no philosophy of punishment to serve this population as this
population should not be punished. In removing them from our prison
system, we are able to work our goals of punishment more efficiently.
In their work on rehabilitation efforts behind bars, Gerber & Fritsch
(1995) found that inmates are affected by a multitude of factors. Placing
the onus of responsibility on one program or on one treatment in
particular is unrealistic. Inmates are typically involved in more than one
program and it is almost impossible to attribute success to one or the
other (Lawrence, Mears, Dubin, & Travis, 2002). A combination of
different programs may actually contribute to the inmate’s success. It is
also important that we consider the amount of influence that the inmate’s
environment plays in shaping his/her behavior or the methodological
issues that are inherent in performing prison research. For example, the
process of self-selection can be problematic. Random assignment to
experimental and control groups are not typically feasible in the prison
setting since inmates are already assigned to their programs by
correctional administrators (Gaes, Flanagan, Motiuk, & Stewart, 1999).
Inmates enrolled in certain programs (i.e., college) may possess different
characteristics than non-program participants. Such inmates may be more
motivated than the average offender, and successful post-release
outcomes could be based on the offender’s personality, not on his/her
treatment program. It is possible that inmates placed in these programs
possess the characteristics necessary to foster successful behavior despite
their enrollment in such programs.
Rehabilitation, via programming, is not universally supported, which
begets difficulties for those who want to contend that it is a worthy
contender for the principle goal of punishment. Founded upon the ideas
underlying utilitarianism, originally set forth by Jeremy Bentham, and
established in the principle of less eligibility, criminals are not worthy
enough to receive privileges that the truly disadvantaged classes cannot
receive. The concept of less eligibility maintains that inmates should not
be treated better than the lowest classes of society. Based on the fivehundred year existence of the Elizabethean Poor Laws in England, the
conditions surrounding the workhouses (the earliest form of the modern
Kimberly Collica-Cox and Larry Sullivan
day prison which was used to control the nonworking poor), had to be
worse than the conditions surrounding the most dreadful jobs in the
community (Quigley, 1996). If this was not the case, individuals would
not have the incentive to remain law-abiding or the incentive to maintain
employment. According to Quigley (1996), the workhouses were created
to decrease the cost of caring for the poor by requiring them to contribute
to their own living expenses. They were required to perform the lowest
forms of labor, which would help to deter the poor from asking for
governmental assistance and make the option of utilizing the workhouse
less tempting to community members. If punishment is not unpleasant,
what inducements exist for conventional conformance?
Retribution can help us to determine who is capable of rehabilitation,
and hence, who is most likely to benefit from the prison’s limited
resources. At the very least, rehabilitation requires a conscience, requires
insight, and requires remorse. One who possesses all of these
characteristics has the ability to be rehabilitated (incapacitation should
serve as the goal for those unable to be rehabilitated). However, such
characteris …
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