Should We Aim for a Unified and Coherent Theory of Punishment?: Thom Brooks: Punishment. Routledge, New York, 2012, 282 pp., ISBN 978-0-415-43181-1, 978-0-415-43182-8

Criminal Law and Philosophy 10 (3):611-628 (2016)
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Thom Brooks criticizes utilitarian and retributive theories of punishment but argues that utilitarian and retributive goals can be incorporated into a coherent and unified theory of punitive restoration, according to which punishment is a means of reintegrating criminals into society and restoring rights. I point to some difficulties with Brooks’ criticisms of retributive and utilitarian theories, and argue that his theory of punitive restoration is not unified or coherent. I argue further that a theory attempting to capture the complex set of rules and behaviors that constitute the practice of legal punishment cannot persuasively be unified and coherent: legitimate features of the practice advance goals and promote values that in some cases conflict.
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