In some countries, people who commit less serious crimes are made to undertake community service instead of a prison sentence. Some people believe that all people who have committed a crime should be sent to prison.

People with minor offenses doing community service
People with minor offenses doing community service

I somewhat agree that criminals should be sent to prison for their crimes instead of undergoing community service. However, a distinction should be made when meting out punishments. Juvenile delinquents must be made to do community service in order to reform them and make them renter society, since a prison sentence for a juvenile delinquent will bring indelible shame; thereby, eclipsing any prospects of rehabilitation.

Serious offenders should be imprisoned so that peace and justice can prevail. Hardcore criminals who have committed murder, armed robbery, or rape must be condemned to prison cells. Having violent criminals undertake community work will be a travesty of justice, and give rise to social tensions. Moreover, imprisoning dangerous criminals will keep a society safe and progressive, while delivering justice to those who have been fouled against.

Hardened criminals
Hardened criminals

On the other hand, juveniles delinquents must not be sentenced to prisons. Jails and prisons systems can irreversibly damage juveniles’ psychology. So, instead of getting rehabilitated, a criminal sent to prison on a petty charge will rather transform into a hardened criminal. Not distinguishing the severity of a crime and the punishment afforded to a criminal, thereafter, will effectively mar any chances of that criminal to return to normalcy.

Juveniles or others who are guilty of petty crimes must be given lighter sentences, mainly to undertake community work. Less serious offenders must be put in rehabilitation programs and kept in special places designated for such offenders. Through various educational and vocational programs, efforts can be made to reintegrate those with minor charges back into the society.

Detention center for Juveniles
Detention center for Juveniles

In conclusion, punishment must commensurate the offense. Juvenile delinquents and offenders having less serious criminal charges must not be handled in a similar way as other hardcore criminals.

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