AskDefine | Define penology

Dictionary Definition

penology n : the branch of criminology concerned with prison management and prisoner rehabilitation [syn: poenology]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. the study of the processes devised and adopted for the punishment and prevention of crime

Extensive Definition

Penology (from the Latin poena, "punishment") comprises penitentiary science: that concerned with the processes devised and adopted for the punishment, repression, and prevention of crime, and the treatment of prisoners.
Contemporary penology concerns itself mainly with prison management and criminal rehabilitation. The word seldom applies to theories and practices of punishment in less formal environments such as parenting.
This theory of punishment is based on the notion that punishment is to be inflicted on offenders so as to reform them, or rehabilitate them so as to make their re-integration into society easier. Punishments that are in accordance with this theory are community service, probation orders, and those which entail guidance and aftercare of the offender.
This theory is founded on the belief that one cannot inflict a severe punishment of imprisonment and expect the offender to be reformed and able to re-integrate into society upon release. Although the importance of inflicting punishment on those persons who breach the law, so as to maintain social order, is retained, the importance of rehabilitation is also given priority.

See also

penology in Arabic: علم العقاب
penology in Bosnian: Penologija
penology in German: Pönologie
penology in Spanish: Penología
penology in French: Pénologie
penology in Lithuanian: Penologija
penology in Norwegian: Pønologi
penology in Polish: Nauki penalne
penology in Slovak: Penológia
penology in Serbian: Пенологија

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

castigation, chastening, chastisement, condign punishment, correction, deserts, disciplinary measures, discipline, ferule, infliction, judgment, judicial punishment, nemesis, pains, pains and punishments, pay, payment, penal retribution, penalty, punishment, punition, retribution, retributive justice, scourge, well-deserved punishment, what-for
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