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Punishment as Moral Fortification

Howard, JW; (2017) Punishment as Moral Fortification. Law and Philosophy , 36 (1) pp. 45-75. 10.1007/s10982-016-9272-2. Green open access

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Abstract

The proposal that the criminal justice system should focus on rehabilitation – rather than retribution, deterrence, or expressive denunciation – is among the least popular ideas in legal philosophy. Foremost among rehabilitation’s alleged weaknesses is that it views criminals as blameless patients to be treated, rather than culpable moral agents to be held accountable. This article offers a new interpretation of the rehabilitative approach that is immune to this objection and that furnishes the moral foundation that this approach has lacked. The view rests on the principle that moral agents owe it to one another to maintain the dependability of their moral capacities. Agents who culpably commit criminal wrongs, however, betray an unacceptable degree of moral unreliability. Punishment, on this theory, consists in the enforcement of the duties that offenders have to reduce their own likelihood of recidivism.

Type: Article
Title: Punishment as Moral Fortification
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s10982-016-9272-2
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10982-016-9272-2
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2016 The Author(s). Open Access: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1532818
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