Punishment is subjecting an individual or a group of people to an undesirable outcome as a response to a particular unacceptable action or behavior.

Arguments in favor of Arguments opposing
There is a response to an unacceptable action or behavior.
Punishment makes it clear that an upleasant response should be expected if an unacceptable action is committed. Punishment may create avoidance owed to fear and stop people from understanding the rational behind the unacceptablity of an action.
May help to discourage committing the unacceptable act.
Punishment may help to reduce the occurance of unacceptable actions in the society. There is little agreement on the effectiveness of punishment to deter people from committing an unacceptable action.
May help to integrate the offender back into the society.
Punishment may help the offender to reconsider committing unacceptable actions and find different ways of integrating into the society. Due to undesirability of punishment, it may create negative mental or physical conditions and hence complicate the integration back into the society.
May make the offender incapable of committing the act.
Particular forms of punishment may make it less likely for the offender to repeat the unacceptable action. Making the offender incapable of re-committing the action may come at a high cost of limited freedom and questioned dignity of the individual.

Competing Views...

Nelson Mandela: "No one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens but its lowest ones.", Long Walk to Freedom, 1995, [URL]

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