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The capacity of criminal sanctions to shape the behaviour of offenders : specific deterrence doesn’t work, rehabilitation might and the implications for sentencing
journal contributionposted on 2012-01-01, 00:00 authored by Mirko Bagaric, Theo AlexanderTheo Alexander
There is a considerable gap between the law and knowledge regarding the efficacy of state-imposed sanctions to achieve several key sentencing objectives. Two sentencing objectives which often carry considerable weight in the sentencing calculus are rehabilitation and specific deterrence, despite the fact that neither has been proven to be attainable. This article examines the empirical data on whether specific deterrence and rehabilitation are attainable, and consequently whether they should be retained or abolished as sentencing objectives.