[ExI] punishment

Tom Nowell nebathenemi at yahoo.co.uk
Wed Mar 18 10:53:47 UTC 2009

Gordon wrote: (I'd like to see a reference to support your claim that removal is a "classic reason" distinct from deterrence, but then you might consider this splitting hairs.)

Lee wrote: I only meant that it was an old idea---at least I heard
about it a long time ago. At least I called it "the three
R's plus D" or something like that.

Well, I remember in my school religious studies textbook (a book so old it quoted Howard Jones lyrics) it mentioned removal, and had four reasons for punishment along the lines of "3 Rs plus D" so Lee's probably not making it up. One of the things that book was discussing was how Christian justice emphasises rehabilitation and the opportunity for criminals to reform their ways, as opposed to purely retributive justice.

The wiki article
mentions six reasons - Rehabilitation, Restoration, Retribution and Deterrence along with two others - Incapacitation (removing the offenders ability to offend again - maybe by keeping prisoners locked away from society until they are "reformed", maybe by castrating rapists, maybe by removing licenses to practise from people who are negligent) and Education.

 The Education bit says "From German Criminal Law, Punishment can be explained by positive prevention theory to use criminal justice system to teach people what are the social norms for what is correct and acts as a reinforcement. It teaches people to obey the law and eliminates the free-rider principle of people not obeying the law getting away with it."

Maybe the German idea of punishment as social reinforcement has merit to it, but I can see libertarians gasping in horror and suggesting that only Restoration and Deterrence are important.



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