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Purpose of Punishment
The third main theory of punishment is the theory of incapacitation. There are some offenders for whom neither deterrence nor rehabilitation works. They will go on committing crimes as long as they are able to do so. In those cases the only protection which the public has is that such persons should be locked up for a long period." The aim of protective sentencing is to render the offender incapable of committing more crimes. Thus, not only can it be seen as punishing the offender for past crimes, but it seeks to punish for crimes yet to be committed. More recently, attempts have been made to locate incapacitative sentencing within a retributive framework. Thus, the principle of proportionality can set a ceiling beyond which punishment is impermissible. Few would doubt that there are a number of dangerous offenders for whom incapacitation may be a serious option. In fact there is much public support for cases where society needs protection. However, the lack of proportionality inherent in protective sentencing remains problematic. Therefore, the only way forward is to defend protective sentencing on desert grounds.
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