Punishment Drift: The Spread of Penal Harm and What We Should Do About It

Criminal Law and Philosophy 11 (4):645-659 (2017)
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It is well documented that the effects of legal punishment tend to drift to the family members, friends, and larger communities of convicted offenders. Instead of conceiving of punishment drift as incidental to legal punishment, or as merely foreseen but not intended by state authorities and thus permissible, I argue that efforts ought to be undertaken to limit or ameliorate it. Failure to confine punishment drift comes perilously close to punishment of the innocent and is at odds with other legal doctrines and broader penal practices that hold offenders, and offenders alone, responsible for their crimes. Numerous arguments urging tolerance of punishment drift, or more assertively defending it, are examined and found wanting.



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Richard Lippke
Indiana University, Bloomington

References found in this work

Unintentional Punishment.Adam J. Kolber - 2012 - Legal Theory 18 (1):1-29.
Sins of Their Children: Parental Responsibility for Juvenile Delinquency.Gilbert Geis & Arnold Binder - 1991 - Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics and Public Policy 5 (2):303-322.

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