'Don’t call people “rapists" : on the social contribution injustice of punishment’
AbstractWe wrong a person as a social being when we deny him minimally adequate opportunities to contribute socially to other people’s survival and wellbeing. We can call this kind of wrong social contribution injustice. In the morally fraught domain of criminal justice, we perpetrate this injustice in many ways, including in our tendency to see people who have committed offences as social threats. One way that we exhibit this tendency in our use of classificatory terms such as ‘murderer’ and ‘rapist’ that essentialise people’s wrongdoing. We also engage in more concrete, material forms of social contribution injustice when we give people criminal records they can never spend, impose punishments that stretch or sever their social bonds, and deny them support when they are trying to reintegrate after punishment. We also do social contribution injustice to the dependents and affiliates of many of the people we punish. Much of this injustice is contingent on our practices, policies, and general attitudes toward offending.
Brownlee, Kimberley. (2016) 'Don’t call people “rapists" : on the social contribution injustice of punishment’. Current Legal Problems . ISSN 0070-1998 (In Press)