Criminal Justice | Learning Resources | Section 2.5

Criminal Justice: An Overview of the System by Adam J. McKee

Section 2.5: Theories of Punishment

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Learning Resources

Learning Objectives
2.5(a) Explain the concept of deterrence, and explain the elements necessary for it to work under rational choice theory.
2.5(b) Describe the concept of incapacitation and problems associated with it in criminal justice practice.
2.5(c) Explain rehabilitation as a goal of punishment, and provide examples of rehabilitation programs.
2.5(d) Explain the idea of retribution in criminal justice philosophy, and how it relates to the idea of just deserts.
2.5(e) Describe evidence offered to demonstrate that both individual racism and institutional racism exist within criminal justice in America.

Slide Presentations

For the Classroom:  INTRO-Section-2-5-presentation

For Printing: INTRO-Section-2-5-presentation

Present from the web:

Key Terms

  • Adversarial (legal system)
  • Bench Trial
  • Bill of Rights
  • Civil Liberties
  • Corrections
  • Courts
  • Crime
  • Criminal Justice System
  • Defendant
  • Defense Attorney
  • Discretion
  • Due Process
  • Due Process Clause
  • Equality (in Justice)
  • Equity (in Justice)
  • Exclusionary Rule
  • Fifth Amendment
  • Finder of Fact
  • Fourteenth Amendment
  • Incarceration
  • Individual Rights
  • Jail
  • Judge
  • Jury
  • Just Deserts
  • Justice
  • Lex Talionis
  • Parole
  • Police
  • Prison
  • Probation
  • Procedural Justice
  • Prosecutor
  • Retributive Justice
  • Rule of Law
  • Sheriff
  • Sheriff’s Deputies
  • Statute
  • Trial by Jury
  • United States Code 

Download a Printable Vocabulary Study Guide [PDF]: Intro_Section_2.5

In your more advanced courses and in your future career, your understanding of many technical and legal terms will be taken for granted.  It is vital that you take the time to really understand the terms presented at the end of each section of this course.  We’ve gone to great lengths to provide you with assistance in mastering this vocabulary.  Don’t forget that there is an extensive glossary that defines all of the bold terms that you will encounter in your reading.  In addition, the vocabulary for each section has been made available on a very useful website called  This site has a wide selection of flashcards for you to study, memorize, test yourself on, and more.  Cram also has a large app store so you can find other mobile flashcards for your Android, iPhone, or Windows device, allowing you to take your flashcards on the go. There are even games that add some fun to learning important terms.

Study Flashcards for this vocabulary on

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Last Updated:  04/21/2021

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