The primary operation of punishment consists simply in announcing certain standards of
behavior and attaching penalties for deviation, making it less eligible, and then leaving
individuals to choose. This is a method of social control, which maximizes individual
freedom within the coercive framework of the law in a number of different ways...
The first moral duty of the community or of the State on its behalf is to reassert the
broken moral laws against the offender who has broken it. For this reason, it must affirm
his guilt and deal with him in accordance with it.  To forgive may be right: to condone
is always wrong. A criminal act must not be condoned. It must be punished. 
Government prohibits taking life, liberty or property of others and specifies the
punishments, threatens those who break the law. The intended effect of all legal threats
obviously is to deter people from doing what the law prohibits. The threats must be
carried out. Otherwise, the threats are reduced to bluffs, and become incredible and therefore ineffective.  Thus, all states punish people whom they identify as criminals.
How a punishment should be is still a question to be answered. Neo-Kantians proposed
the concept of proportionality. When we say that the aim of the punishment is to prevent
crime, then the "Punishment must fit the crime". We must accept that man avoids
criminal behavior if that behavior elicits swift, severe and certain punishment.  Many
studies by many sociologists and criminologists such as Gibbs, Chiricos and Waldo and
Tittle suggest that the severity and certainty of punishment are additive factors.
But, evidence suggests that the severity and certainty of punishment are inversely related.
Jeffrey states that severity of punishment can be gained only by sacrificing certainty and
that "increasing the penalties for crime has had negative effect of making the punishment
John Bright throughout his life argued that certainty of punishment was more important
than severity of punishment in preventing the development of crimes.  William C.
Bailey, Assistant Professor of Sociology, The Cleveland State University and Ronald W.
Smith, Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Nevada conducted extensive
research in finding whether the severity and certainty of punishment really deter the
criminals. They concluded that the severity and certainty are not substantially
inversely related for the index crimes nor are changes in their level. 
Another facet of the punishment is that it cannot be benign to the criminal. But for the
society punishment is and should be a benign process. So punishment is necessarily
adverse to the interests of the criminal, but to the society it is not necessary. The first
duty of the state is to dissociate itself from the acts of its own member. To do this it must
act, not only upon but also against the member....  While acting so, it must exhibit
no antagonism in its will against the will of the offending members. This is necessary for
the preservation of its own character, on which the character of its citizens largely
depends. All punishments properly imply moral accountability. Community wants the
punishment to reach the criminal’s mind as well as his body; it wants him to suffer