Definition of penal in English:

penal

adjective

  • 1Relating to, used for, or prescribing the punishment of offenders under the legal system.

    ‘the campaign for penal reform’
    • ‘Power can be conceptualized as control over resources that are desired by other people, and can be exerted in numerous ways including through legal and penal systems.’
    • ‘The Judaeo-Christian tradition insists that the primary aim of any penal system is to reform and restore.’
    • ‘Any transformation of the penal system must start with the redesign of prison buildings.’
    • ‘In the same way that hospitals are the acute end of the healthcare system, prisons should be the acute end of the penal system.’
    • ‘In my judgment it is legitimate to have regard to public perception when considering the characteristics of a penal system.’
    • ‘Concerned with the increase in violent crimes in the last decades of the twentieth century, many people are demanding a stricter police control and reforms in the penal system which would extend the time of incarceration.’
    • ‘I did my time (the best part of an hour) in a prison that was briefly the most notorious in the Scottish penal system.’
    • ‘Granted, prison is a place for punishment, but our penal system seems to be committing worse crimes than most of the people who are in jail.’
    • ‘Institutional racism dogs educational, legal and penal systems on all continents.’
    • ‘Can you imagine, for example, the crisis that would be created within our penal system if lifers were never to have hope of changed circumstances?’
    • ‘Those people wanted punishment to be brought back into the penal system, but what has happened?’
    • ‘A fabulously expensive and enormous penal system whose rapidly mounting social costs will be borne, ultimately, by every woman, man, and child in the country.’
    • ‘Humane and rational reform of the penal system is needed urgently.’
    • ‘What sort of a penal system do we have when those who are supposed to confine the prisoners cannot or do not protect them?’
    • ‘More than 90 countries worldwide have abolished corporal punishment in schools and penal systems for youth.’
    • ‘But a federal court turned the company down, noting that the rights of the public to information about the penal system do not include a promise of unfettered access.’
    • ‘A spate of prison suicides has highlighted the terrible state of Britain's penal system.’
    • ‘However, he said it was important that the Irish penal system still offered prisoners some hope of rehabilitation and reintegration into society.’
    • ‘It is far too late for us to start thinking about rehabilitation as the primary objective of our penal system once young offenders have been through this useless youth justice system, but that is exactly what we have done.’
    • ‘Quite frankly, I am of the view that you will be able to better deal with those mental health issues in the provincial penal system as opposed to the federal penal system.’
    disciplinary, punitive, corrective, correctional, retributive
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (of an act or offense) punishable by law.
      • ‘But now it is a penal offence to talk about this genocide in the context of events that are funded externally or organised by foundations where ‘material interest’ could be at stake.’
      • ‘The original interpretation of the Thirteenth Amendment was to prevent the state from enforcing labor contracts with penal sanctions.’
      • ‘The penal code does not criminalize such conduct, and would be clearly unconstitutional if it did.’
      • ‘Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.’
      • ‘Or the subject matter may call for a strict interpretation of the statutory language, as in penal legislation.’
      • ‘The Court drew a distinction between the retroactive effect of penal provisions and retroactive effect outside the criminal sphere.’
      • ‘However, after that meeting the officials began to investigate the appellant's penal liability.’
      • ‘It is trite law that, in general, foreign penal acts of a confiscatory nature are not recognised in England.’
      • ‘It is said therefore that the power to punish or to impose consequences which are penal or punitive is an exclusively judicial one.’
      • ‘Discipline in junior soccer is strict, and the fines for breaches are penal.’
      • ‘He then considered the question of whether it was necessary to establish an intention to injure where the conspiracy involved action that contravened penal law.’
      • ‘The new legislation could, said commentators, enshrine the most repressive aspects of martial law in the penal code.’
      • ‘None shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the same time when it was committed.’
      • ‘Under the Second Claimant's penal code an accused is entitled to free representation (at the cost of the Second Claimant) in such circumstances.’
      • ‘In each case it can be noted that the classification certificate is concerned with the act of supply whereas the penal enforcement extends, in addition, to the act of offering to supply.’
      • ‘First, from the point of view of the advocate the jurisdiction is penal.’
      • ‘No international penal tribunal of general jurisdiction has been created.’
      • ‘The power of the court to discharge an order giving permission to proceed, made on an application without notice to the other side, on the ground of non-disclosure, is a disciplinary, indeed penal, jurisdiction.’
      • ‘Several of the 20 readers who had e-mailed the newspaper expressed shock that oral sex remained an offence under the penal code in the modern city-state.’
      • ‘Thus the basic principle ought to be the harm principle: the reduction of harm to others is always a good reason in support of penal legislation.’
      disciplinary, punitive, corrective, correctional, retributive
      View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English: from Old French penal, from Latin poenalis, from poena pain, penalty.

Pronunciation:

penal

/ˈpēn(ə)l/