PUNISHMENT: The Big Question

Has the purpose of punishment changed over time?

You may want to print out these instructions so you can refer to them as you work.

In this Strand you will find evidence of the changing story of punishment over 700 years. This story is split into four Galleries:

In each Gallery there are several Case-Studies, with sources giving you real evidence of real punishments used in England in the past.

Your CHALLENGE is to decide whether, over the centuries, punishment has changed in what it is trying to achieve.

There are lots of documents in the four Galleries in this Punishment Strand so we have made a selection for you to choose from. Your task is to use them in a TV programme you are making to show all the possible reasons for punishing offenders which have been used over time. These are:

  1. Removing the offender from society (temporarily or permanently)
  2. Hurting the offender (physically or financially)
  3. Detering others
  4. Public shame
  5. Changing the offender so he/she avoids crime in the future

For each of the five reasons, find ONE or TWO examples, from different periods, to show what it meant in practice. Write the sound track for each example, of not more than two sentences, explaining what it shows and why you have chosen it.

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