Dignity and human rights in correctional practice

  • Tony Ward (Professor of Clinical Psychology, Victoria University of Wellington)

Interventions with offenders have a normative layer as well as a scientific basis and therefore it is not possible to quarantine ethical questions from discussions of best practice. My aim in this paper is to provide an expanded ethical canvass from which to approach correctional practice with offenders. The cornerstone of this broader ethical perspective will be the concept of human dignity and its protection by human rights norms and theories. I also explore the relationship between responses to crime and offender rehabilitation based on an enriched theory of punishment that is sensitive to offenders’ moral equality and their attendant rights.

Keywords: Correctional practice, Human dignity, Punishment, Human rights

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