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Abstract disponibile solo in lingua inglese
The paper analyses the specific goals of punishment, differentiating them as rehabilitation, incapacitation, retribution and deterrence. The first two tend towards the deactivation of the offender and are generally ineffective in reducing crime. The second two, instead, are aimed not so much at single offenders as the community at large. Retribution implies doing justice whereas deterrence seeks to impede the diffusion of crime. The latter goal is analysed in depth and defended from the criticisms of sociologists, psychologists and philosophers.