Duff on Hard Treatment

Matt Matravers

in Crime, Punishment, and Responsibility

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780199592814
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729034 | DOI:
Duff on Hard Treatment

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This chapter considers whether Duff's communicative account of punishment can justify penal hard treatment. It first gives a sympathetic account of Duff's communicative theory and the arguments that he offers to connect censure and hard treatment. Duff claims that hard treatment can be both a means to bring the offender to a rich, penitential, understanding of his crime and a vehicle through which the offender can express his repentance and restore himself to his community. It is argued that neither of these moves is successful in justifying the use of hard treatment. Hard treatment requires a consequentialist justification and Duff recoils from this because he believes all such justifications fail to treat agents with due respect. This is a mistake and reducing future offending is a justifiable goal of penal public policy.

Keywords: punishment; hard treatment; communicative theories; retributivism; deterrence; reform; penance; reconciliation

Chapter.  8592 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law

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