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Sentencing and PunishmentThe Quest for Justice

Sentencing and Punishment: The Quest for Justice (4th edn)

Susan Easton and Christine Piper
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date: 29 March 2023

p. 1365. Risk and dangerlocked

p. 1365. Risk and dangerlocked

  • Susan EastonSusan EastonProfessor of Law, Brunel University
  •  and Christine PiperChristine PiperEmeritus Professor of Law, Brunel University


This chapter reviews the current policy focus on the ‘dangerous’ offender and the aim of protecting the public from the risk posed by an offender’s reoffending. It discusses developments in relation to a ‘culture of control’ and examines the utilitarian justifications for the incapacitation of offenders, or groups of offenders, believed to be dangerous. The chapter focuses on incapacitation, which is another utilitarian tool, but one that uses the removal of an offender from public life. It also examines the changes in sentencing law, focusing on new indeterminate sentences and the extended sentence, as well as the provisions for control of dangerous prisoners through early release procedures and through preventive orders. It also considers the dangerous mentally disordered offender.

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