This book seeks to explain why the concept of justice is critical to the study of criminal justice. Heffernan makes such a case by treating state-sponsored punishment as the defining feature of criminal justice. In particular, this work accounts for the state's role as a surrogate for victims of wrongdoing, and so makes it possible to integrate victimology scholarship into its justice-based framework. In arguing that punishment may be imposed only for wrongdoing, the book proposes a criterion for repudiating the legal paternalism that informs drug-possession laws.
Rethinking the Foundations of Criminal Justice outlines steps for taming the state's power to punish offenders; in particular, it draws on restorative justice research to outline possibilities for a penology that emphasizes offenders' humanity. Through its examination of equality issues, the book integrates recent work on the social justice/criminal justice connection into the scholarly literature on punishment, and so will particularly appeal to those interested in criminal justice theory.
William Heffernan is Professor of Criminal Justice at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York. He is an editor of Criminal Justice Ethics, a publication of John Jay's Institute for Criminal Justice Ethics. His books include Privacy And The American Constitution: New Rights Through Interpretation Of An Old Text (Palgrave Macmillan 2016) and his articles on constitutional privacy protection have appeared in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Georgetown Law Journal, Wisconsin Law Review, and Notre Dame Law Review.