Which of these four criminal principles deterrence, incapacitation, retribution and rehabilitation does today's criminal justice system appear to focus on?
Rehabilitation is a nice ideal but rarely works. Statistics show that up to 63% of criminals have prior arrest records. (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1989) This shows that criminals are not being rehabilitated but rather are just being held temporarily until they commit crime upon being released. Deterrence is mostly ineffective. Criminals know that even if they are caught there is a good chance they will receive a light sentence or not be sentenced at all. In many cases, life in prison is comparable or preferable to the life the individual has in freedom so going to prison is not much of a deterrent at all.