The Possibility of a Correctional Ethic

In J. Kleinig and M. L. Smith (ed.), Discretion, Community, and Correctional Ethics. pp. 39-68 (2001)
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In this article, I argue that the kind of suffering that prisons impose upon people who are incarcerated disregards their uniqueness and fails to meet their basic needs in a manner which violates their dignity and worth as human beings. Hence, the prison, as an institution, cannot be morally justified. But since the imposition of this kind of suffering is an integral element of a prison’s central function, it follows that a 'Correctional Ethic' is effectively an oxymoron, not dissimilar to an 'Ethic for Slave-masters'.



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Derek R. Brookes
Australian National University (PhD)

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