Evolution of Penal Reforms: From Deterrent to Reformative Theory of Punishment

1Dr. Sunita Adhav


Punishment for a crime constitutes one of the components of criminal justice system of every country. The concept of punishment has been changing from time to time. In ancient days, the purpose of punishment was to deter a person as well as other potential offenders preventing them from committing a crime. Some countries followed retributive theory of punishment wherein the purpose of punishment was to take revenge from an offender, inflicting same injury on offender which he inflicted on the victim. But as societal conditions are dynamic, the concept and purpose of inflicting punishment also changed. After passage of time, some scholars put forth the theory of Reformation of punishment wherein the main object of punishment was not to take revenge from an offender but was to bring reforms in an offender and making him a law abiding citizen so that after returning in society, he would be able to live a normal life. Thus the purposes for inflicting pain on offender changed and now reformative theory of punishment is accepted by most of the countries incorporating basic human rights approach in criminal justice system and thus led to penal reforms.


Crime, Punishment, Reformative theory of punishment, Deterrent theory of punishment, penal reforms

Paper Details
IssueIssue 10