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Is offender rehabilitation a form of punishment?
journal contributionposted on 2010-11-01, 00:00 authored by Tony Ward
This paper examines the consequences of the overlap between punishment and rehabilitation practices, and inquires into the implications for individuals who assess and treat offenders. More specifically, I make three claims concerning the relationship between offender rehabilitation and punishment. First, rehabilitation as it is commonly understood in the offending arena contains some components that meet the criteria for punishment, in the ethical sense of that term. It is also true that there are aspects of rehabilitation that are focused directly on assisting offenders to live better lives (higher levels of well-being) and therefore which do not meet the criteria for punishment. Second, there are a number of significant practice implications that follow from the hybrid nature of offender rehabilitation. Third, Duff's communicative theory of punishment (Duff, 2001) offers clinicians a stronger justification for the punishment aspects of rehabilitation than its retributive and consequential rivals.