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Punishment and CitizenshipA Theory of Criminal Disenfranchisement$
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Milena Tripkovic

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190848620

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190848620.001.0001

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The Nature of Criminal Disenfranchisement

The Nature of Criminal Disenfranchisement

(p.46) Chapter 4 The Nature of Criminal Disenfranchisement
Punishment and Citizenship

Milena Tripkovic

Oxford University Press

This chapter sets up the frame for the subsequent normative analysis by seeking to establish the nature of criminal disenfranchisement. Departing from the common notion that criminal disenfranchisement is a form of punishment, the chapter first contrasts the traits of these two sanctions. A significant discrepancy between them is uncovered, which is based on the finding that disenfranchisement may never be considered a principal or sufficient response to crime, that it stands against the principle of ultima ratio, and that it fundamentally targets the offender rather than the offense. Moving away from punishment, the chapter next establishes that, due to its non-penal aims, disenfranchisement is more akin to security measures but nevertheless lacks the preventive, “risk-based” element that characterizes these sanctions. Ultimately, the chapter proposes that criminal disenfranchisement is a sui generis sanction that—rather than pursuing penal goals—targets the equal citizenship of criminal offenders.

Keywords:   punishment, penal theory, collateral consequence, civil disqualification, citizenship sanction

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