The Liberal Polity, Criminal Sanction, and Civil Society

Criminal Justice Ethics 32 (3):1-16 (2013)
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The article explores an intersection of moral psychology and political principles regarding criminal sanction. A liberal state cannot require that persons acquire certain states of character or lead certain specific kinds of lives; it cannot require virtue. Moreover, it would be wrong for the state to punish offenders in ways that damage their capacities for agency, and in ways that encourage vice. In the U.S. the terms and conditions of punishment often have deleterious effects on agential capacities, undermining the ability to reintegrate in civil society. Prison experience is often antithetical to maintaining or acquiring the dispositions of prudence, accountability, trust, and trustworthiness needed for participation in civil society, raising significant questions concerning the legitimacy of punishment.



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Jonathan Jacobs
University of York

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Civics, Policy, and Demoralization.Jonathan Jacobs - 2017 - Criminal Justice Ethics 36 (1):25-44.

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