Bad Upbringing and Punishment

Bad upbringing is designated by the issues such as lack of moral guidance, abuse, or a high level of poverty. Bad upbringing is recognized as a diminished condition in sentencing in many sovereignties. In the Canadian case, Gladue obtained that if an offender’s bad upbringing subscribed in bringing the offender before the court, it will reduce the offender’s burden because of that reason. This composition will focus on deprive upbringing and the punishment of the offenders of criminal law.

There are different types of offenders; however, offenders with deprived upbringing should be distinguished from other disadvantaged offenders. Offenders, who suffered from a historical disadvantage, should be distinguished from those who suffered from current drawbacks (Ewing, 2018). Most researchers claim that bad upbringing offenders deserve less punishment because they are less blameworthy for their decision to offend. An individual’s blameworthiness for an event depends on the extent to which that incident is traceable, his prior alternatives. If an offender had a deprived upbringing, then his chances to avoid committing an offense must be diminished; hence it is not fair to impose some burdens on an offender if he had fewer chances to avoid those burdens.

There are two possible rationales concerning whether a bad upbringing deserves punishment or affects Just. First, it can be held that an offender’s blameworthiness for his possibilities to commit a crime is reduced if he had a deprived upbringing. Second, it can be held that fairness needs us to impose a less severe burden on an individual with a deprived upbringing (Chau, 2018).The debate about punishment is both to a certain level confused and necessary. Mostly there are two mistakes or confusions made concerning the concept of punishment. First, errors occur when an analysis of punishment counts as retributive and as justificatory neutral. There are two forms of confusion or mistakes. The first error is made in connection to the character of punishment, the second about its scope. Most legal philosophers held that punishment is a normative concept containing a retributive purport. However, some philosophers maintain that punishment should be defined without reference to theories advanced to justify punishment. An authority administers punishment. The regime inflicts punishment upon an offender. The punishment is proportioned to the level of offense and the guiltiness of the offender.

John Finnis maintains that punishment purposely seeks to provide a just balance between law-abiding and criminal. Byways of this retributive characterization, he intends to bring across what he refers to as the focal use of the concept of punishment. Authorities can be abused, and punishment befalls those who have not committed a crime. According to Fannie, this abuse is referred to as a non-focal use of punishment. Punishing the innocent is an improper form of punishment; it defies the third tenet.

George Fletcher focuses on the four schools of thought in political theory: liberalism, perfectionism, libertarianism, and communitarianism. Libertarianism states that only definable harms toward the public may be criminalized. Libertarian philosophy strongly emphasizes the harm principle. Liberalism holds the same code with its distinction between the Good and the Right. In contrast, perfectionism and communitarianism seem hesitant to adopt the institutions of criminal law (Purdy, 2019). A shift from liberal to perfectionist objectives is signaled by promoting the good over the right. The concept that criminal law has to protect the rights of individuals is sometimes questioned because of fundamental reasons.




Chau, P. (2018). Punishment and Bad Upbringing. Criminal Justice Ethics, 37(2), 103-121.

Ewing, B. (2018). Recent work on punishment and criminogenic disadvantage. Law and Philosophy, 37(1), 29-68.

Purdy, L. M. (2019). In Their Best Interest?. Cornell University Press.

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