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Deterrence is a theory which claims that punishment is justified through preventing future crimes, and is one of the oldest and most powerful theories about punishment. The argument that punishment ought to secure crime reduction occupies a central place in criminal justice policy and is the site for much debate. Should the state deter offenders through the threat of punishment? What available evidence is there about the effectiveness of deterrence? Is deterrence even possible?
This volume brings together the leading work on deterrence from the dominant international figures in the field. Deterrence is examined from various critical perspectives, including its diversity, relation with desert, the relation of deterrence with incapacitation and prevention, the role deterrence has played in debates over the death penalty, and deterrence and corporate crime.