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Dealing with the guilty : Non punitive measures

Justice that law gives is punishment, but justice that love gives is surrender - Mahatma Gandhi In our present day society, we see an upsurge of criminal cases in the recent years. The common form of delivering justice to the citizens has been detterence, which is again mainly of two kinds personal or direct detterence and social or indirect detterence1. Personal detterence is removing the wrongdoer from society itself, so as to curb future crimes. These thinkers advocate corporal punishment as a means of social control, believing in the fact that, when a wrongdoer will go back again into the society, he has a high probability of committing crime once again. Capital punishment daunts a killer or a rapist from ever doing such thing again. Social detterence is an indirect detterence, advocating the fact that vindictive or punitive punishment/damage award will lead to the setting up of a general fear of the act in the society. Human psychology is such that people do not generally wish to travel a troubled road, when they can see a particular act/offence results in such punishment. The mere knowledge of severe punishment forestalls the ignition of the thought of a crime in the human mind. This school of thought is the primarium principium behind most of the punishments in criminal cases. We do not generally get to see non punitive measures, except in case of minors2. Non punitive measures generally refer to corrective measures as given to some offenders by the Honourable courts, falling within the ambit of restorative justice3. A wrongdoer has to be made to undergo certain reformative measures in order to be absorbed in the society eventually at a later date. This rehabilitation is a mfundamental bulding block of the non punitive measures of administering justice, ensuring dropped crime rates and reintegration of criminals in the society. Mandatory social service, educational courses are some standard procedures followed by the Indian system of administering justice and order in additional to specialized vocational training and paid labour. After all any imprisoned man is still a human being and cannot be deprived of the human rights that he ought to enjoy. Reminisent of their days of liberty during the period of incarceration, most prisoners develop the sense of guilt and contrition that eat into their minds, and their suffering should not be increased. The reformative/corrective measures aim to make the prisoners a better human being, whom society looks at with antipathic eyes. Non punitive measures turn criminals

Twelve Things Debaters Should Know About Law Whitman, Glen (http://www.csun.edu/~dgw61315/aboutlaw.html) last accessed January 6, 2014 6:32PM +5:30 GMT

2 Fast Track court awards death sentences to convicts of Delhi Rape case - Ramalingam.Va, Le Journal International, (http://www.lejournalinternational.fr/Fast-Track-court-awards-death-sentences-to-convicts-of-Delhi-Rapecase_a1252.html) last accessed January 6, 2014 8:07PM +5:30 GMT

into people helpful to society, not harmful to society4. Some statistics from Asian and Pacific Conference of Correctional Administrators Conference 2013 will shed light in this case. Let us have a look first :

Total of 43,317 out of 3,72,926 inmates were trained during the year 2011. Maximum number of training (4,427) was imparted in Weaving followed by Carpentry (3,833), Tailoring (3,406), Agriculture (2,538) and Handloom (797). Highest number of inmates trained in Agriculture, Carpentary, Canning, Tailoring, Weaving, Soap & Phenyle making and Handloom were reported in Madhya Pradesh (1,561), Gujarat (1,808), Assam (136), Madhya Pradesh (739), Gujarat (1,396), Kerala (160) and Jharkhand (309) respectively. The highest earning by inmates trained in various vocational programmes was reported from Uttar Pradesh (Rs. 1,842.1 lakh) followed by Bihar (Rs. 1,821.4 lakh), and Maharashtra (Rs. 1,058.3 lakh) during the year 2011. The highest earning per inmate was reported from Chandigarh (Rs. 12,044.7) followed by Delhi (Rs. 7,821.7), Gujarat (Rs. 7,177.0), Bihar (Rs. 6,497.6) and Kerala (Rs. 4,559.3) as against All-India average of Rs. 2,453.5 during the year 2011. And now, we see that out of the whole prison population, only 4.7% return for the same offence, and the rates drop as rehabilitation rates increase. We find a direct coreation of curbing of recividism to rehabilitation here. Some prisoners, termed as 'psychopaths' cannot be corrected by any means of rahabilitation, as they find solace in their antisocial behaviour5. The rehabilitation methods are scientifically in research, and not yet having solid scientific foundation to survive on. Many practical problems arise out of this them main ones being that, even though rehabilitation may be provided to the inmates, ulterior motive behind their committed crimes differ and different people react differently to different rehabilitation stimuli, hence uniform reformative measures is very difficult to form. Personalized reformative measures are hard to implement, and the closest trial that can be made is to group inmates by motive of crime, or by response to stimuli (reformative trainings). The inmates generally commit crimes due to peer pressure, or socially acquired characteristics, which when tried to change through rehabilitation programs may cause adverse psychological effects for what they did was probably right in the

society they were brought up in. The values acquired through years of social induction cannot be changed overnight, and this 'desocialization-resocialization' process has to be spread over a long period of time. This sometimes proves to be too costly and resource consuming.

However, in the current social perspective when India is gearing up for a super-surge in the crime rates, and cannot be predicted when it will stop, the merits of non punitive measures of administration of justice overweigh the demerits. The society needs to change, and this is a powerful tool to implement such change for law binds society, doesn't degenerate it.

- Debadatta Bose Semester II, DSNLU