Punishment is the authoritative imposition of something negative or unpleasant on a person, animal, organization or entity in response to behavior deemed unacceptable by an individual, group or other entity. The authority may be either a group or a single person, and punishment may be carried out formally under a system of law or informally in other kinds of social settings such as within a family. Negative consequences that are not authorized or that are administered without a breach of rules are not considered to be punishment as defined here. The study and practice of the punishment of crimes, particularly as it applies to imprisonment, is called penology, or, often in modern texts, corrections; in this context, the punishment process is euphemistically called "correctional process". Research into punishment often includes similar research into prevention.

Fundamental justifications for punishment include: retribution, deterrence, rehabilitation, and incapacitations such as isolation in order to prevent the wrongdoer's having contact with potential victims. Of the four justifications, only retribution is part of the definition of punishment and none of the other justifications is a guaranteed outcome.

If only some of the conditions included in the definition of punishment are present, descriptions other than "punishment" may be considered more accurate. Inflicting something negative, or unpleasant, on a person or animal, without authority is considered either spite or revenge rather than punishment. In addition, the word "punishment" is used as a metaphor, as when a boxer experiences "punishment" during a fight. In other situations breaking the rules may be rewarded, and is therefore without negative consequences, and so cannot be considered punishment. Finally the condition of breaking (or breaching) the rules must be satisfied to be considered punishment.

Punishments differ in the degree of severity of their unpleasantness, and may include sanctions such as reprimands, deprivations of privileges or liberty, fines, incarcerations, ostracism, the infliction of pain, and the death penalty. Corporal punishment refers to punishments in which pain is intended to be inflicted upon the transgressor. Punishments may be judged as fair or unfair in terms of their degree of reciprocity and proportionality. Punishment can be an integral part of socialization, and punishing unwanted behaviour is often part of a system of pedagogy or behavioral modification which also includes rewards.

Read more about Punishment:  Scope of Application, Possible Reasons For Punishment

Other articles related to "punishment, punishments":

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... on account of challah”) to interpret Leviticus 2616 to teach that as punishment for the neglect of the challah tithe, God fails to bless what is stored, a curse is sent on ... The Baraita interpreted Leviticus 2622–23 to teach that as punishment for vain oaths, false oaths, desecration of God’s Name, and desecration of the Sabbath ... with the Torah, the Baraita interpreted Leviticus 2625–26 to teach that as punishment for delaying judgment, perverting judgment, corrupting judgment, and neglecting Torah ...
Auburn System - Punishment
... staff members of the Auburn Theological Seminary petitioned to bring the issue of the punishments to the State government ... that six blows on the naked back with the "cat" or six-stranded whip was the most punishment that could be assigned for any one offense.” In 1846 another meeting was congregated to ... where water, sometimes iced, would pour down.” Another form of punishment that was allowed was “the yoke” ...
Section Twelve Of The Canadian Charter Of Rights And Freedoms - Execution
... Burns, the Supreme Court declined to decide whether capital punishment would classify in Canadian law as a cruel and unusual punishment and therefore a direct violation of section 12 ... certainly "engages the underlying values of the prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment," noting its impossibility to correct (in cases of wrongful conviction) and its perceived "a ...
Possible Reasons For Punishment - Education and Denunciation
... Punishment can be explained by positive prevention theory to use the criminal justice system to teach people what are the social norms for what is correct, and acts as a ... Punishment can serve as a means for society to publicly express denunciation of an action as being criminal ...

Famous quotes containing the word punishment:

    What will be left of the power of example if it is proved that capital punishment has another power, and a very real one, which degrades men to the point of shame, madness, and murder?
    Albert Camus (1913–1960)

    Shame is a fitter and generally a more effectual punishment for a child than beating.
    Samuel Richardson (1689–1761)

    The Laws of Nature are just, but terrible. There is no weak mercy in them. Cause and consequence are inseparable and inevitable. The elements have no forbearance. The fire burns, the water drowns, the air consumes, the earth buries. And perhaps it would be well for our race if the punishment of crimes against the Laws of Man were as inevitable as the punishment of crimes against the Laws of Nature—were Man as unerring in his judgments as Nature.
    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882)