Most analyses of punishment seem to assume that it plays a major role in shaping the behavior of people, whether they are children, students, employees, or ordinary citizens in the community. Some people argue that there is no justification for the use of punishment in any setting, even childrearing. A bill debated in the 2007 California state legislature that would make spanking illegal appears to be a move in this direction. Others believe that there are times when punishment is the most effective and timely way to change behavior and without it homes, schools, organizations, and societies would disintegrate. Does punishment work and how can we improve it?