Recidivist Punishments: The Philosopher's View (Hardback)
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Short Description for Recidivist Punishments Much has been written about recidivist punishments, particularly within the area of criminology. However there is a notorious lack of penal philosophical reflection on this issue. This book attempts to fill that gap by presenting the philosopher's view on this matter as a way of furthering the debate on recidivist punishments.
- Published: 08 December 2011
- Format: Hardback 234 pages
- ISBN 13: 9780739149966 ISBN 10: 0739149962
- Sales rank: 1,483,181
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Full description for Recidivist Punishments
In most Western penal systems, recidivist criminals are punished more harshly than first offenders. The philosophical grounds for this response are however difficult to grasp. According to the retributive ideal, recidivists deserve harsher punishments, independently of the eventual effects of the recidivist premium on crime rates. Different notions of "desert" have been advanced in the literature to substantiate this claim. However, all of them have this problem in common: how to justify a harsher punishment of an offender on grounds of a past offence which s/he already paid for? According to a different approach, it is argued that by sentencing offenders to harsher punishments, particularly longer prison terms, we expect to deter them or other potential criminals from recidivating (individual and general deterrence) or at least we might keep them incapacitated by holding them in prison after the standard punishment has been served. During the last decade or so, a different approach has been advanced that underlies the communicative function of penal sanctions. Starting from the assumption that the public subscribes a higher degree of blameworthiness to recidivism, it is then argued that this general opinion should be reflected in the penal sanctions if we don't want to risk discrediting the legal system. Finally, it could be argued that, although we don't know for sure how many (if at all) future crimes can be prevented by recidivist premiums, it is not justified to take any risks in that regard, as we would then failing to protect future crime victims. The price for averting this uncertainty should therefore be paid by those who have broken the law in the past, according to these authors. But this can be made by submitting them to non-traditional forms of punishments. Much has been written about recidivist punishments, particularly within the area of criminology. There is however a notorious lack of (penal) philosophical reflection regarding this issue. In this book, all these different approaches to recidivist punishments are critically discussed with the ambition of filling that gap by presenting the philosophers' view on this matter.