In principle, punishment for criminal behaviour comes to an end (except, potentially, in the case of the whole life sentence imposed for murder in the UK, which is a sentence with no predetermined release date). This is in line with the idea that society requires that individuals are meaningfully punished for their antisocial behaviour, and that meaningful punishment is possible (although the role of punishment as individual and social deterrent and its politicisation is much debated – see Alschuler, 2003). The ‘Where do you stand?’ box on the next page also highlights various viewpoints. Presumably the idea of meaningful punishment is that individuals learn the negative consequences of their actions and will therefore be less likely to act in antisocial ways in the future, thereby reducing crime and protecting the public (see Joyce, 2009).
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