Introduction: the article considers the goals of punishment, their essence, evolution, and modern legal and doctrinal interpretation; these issues are among fundamental problems of penitentiary science. Aim: to study the legal nature, social conditionality, and achievability of the goals of punishment so as to identify their compliance with the modern criminal policy of Russia. Methods: the research is based on a dialectical approach to the study of social processes and phenomena. We use methods such as analysis, synthesis, comparative legal, retrospective, formal legal, logical, comparative methods; all of them are commonly used by the sciences of criminal law and criminology. We also apply private scientific methods such as the legal-dogmatic method and the method of interpretation of legal norms. Results: we conclude that the time has come to change the conceptual foundations on which the institution of the goals of punishment is based. We believe it is necessary to prevent crimes by combining criminal responsibility with education and prevention. The level of recidivism, the empirical non-verifiability of reformation, and the scientific inconsistency of the phrase “restoration of social justice” (how can we restore what should be an unshakable axiological guideline?) indicate that Russian penology should radically revise the existing punitive paradigm. The paper substantiates the thesis that no goal of punishment in the current form is fully achievable. It is known that general prevention is based on fear. However, according to criminological studies, those who are inclined to commit crimes, as a rule, are not afraid of punishment (their contempt for punishment, law and society as a whole is obviously cultivated by the criminal subculture). And law-abiding people do not commit crimes because of their inner beliefs, upbringing and culture. Thus, general prevention as a goal is ineffective. Reformation and special prevention are too formalized and do not assume scientifically verifiable (at least, legally enacted) criteria for their achieving, that is, the state of reformation itself. With regard to the restoration of social justice, this formulation seems absurd due to a misunderstanding of justice as such. In our opinion, it is an objectively established axiological system, which essentially cannot be violated by a crime, but represents a standard and a measure of evaluation. It is for a reason that it is legally defined as a requirement for a court sentence in the Criminal Procedure Code of the Russian Federation. The goal of punishment ultimately consists in the punishment itself and in the implementation of its functions (punishment, retribution, public condemnation of the crime, protection of society from criminal encroachments). Conclusions: the present research has substantiated the necessity to carry out a legislative reform of the concept of the goals of punishment. We find this problem quite relevant, because the effectiveness of judicial and penal enforcement activities and the fate of meaningless financial costs for achieving unattainable goals depend on finding a solution to it.
Keywords: punishment; goal; efficiency; restoration of social justice; crime prevention; general and special prevention; reformation of convicted persons; criminal policy; conceptual foundations
Chief Researcher of the Research Institute of the
Federal Penal Service of Russia, Professor of the Department of Penal Law and
Organization of Educational Work with Convicts of the Vologda Institute of Law
and Economics of the Federal Penal Service of Russia, Dsc. in Law, Associate
, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Beccaria C. O prestupleniyakh i nakazaniyakh [On Crimes and Punishments]. Moscow: Yuridicheskoe izd-vo NKYu SSSR, 1939. 182 p.
2. Belyaev I.D. Lektsii po istorii russkogo zakonodatel’stva [Lectures on the history of Russian legislation]. Moscow: Tipolitogr. S.A. Petrovskogo i N.P. Panina, 1879. 728 p.
3. Gorodnyanskaya V.V. Postpenitentsiarnyi retsidiv: monografiya [Postpenitentiarny relapse: monograph]. Moscow: Yurlitinform, 2012. 165 p.
4. Durkheim E. Metod sotsiologii [The Rules of Sociological Method]. Kyiv; Kharkiv: F.A. Ioganson, 1899. 153 p.
5. Durkheim E. O razdelenii obshchestvennogo truda: etyud ob organizatsii vysshikh obshchestv [The Division of Labor in Society]. Odessa: Tip. G.M. Levinsona, 1900. 332 p.
6. Durkheim E. Sotsiologiya. Ee predmet, metod, prednaznachenie [Sociology. Its Subject, Method, Purpose]. Translated from French by A.B. Gofman. Moscow: Kanon, 1995. 352 p.
7. Zakony Manu [The Laws of Manu]. Moscow: Izd-vo vostochnoi literatury, 1960. 362 p.
8. Jhering R. Tsel’ v prave. Sochineniya. Tom 1 [The Purpose in Law. Works. Volume 1]. Saint Petersburg: N.V. Murav’ev, 1881. 412 p.
9. Inshakov S.M. Zarubezhnaya kriminologiya: uchebnoe posobie dlya studentov vuzov [Foreign criminology: a textbook for university students]. Second edition. Moscow: YuNITI-DANA: Zakon i pravo, 2003. 374 p.
10. Kalashnikova A.I. Ugolovnyi kodeks RSFSR 1926 g.: kompromiss ideologii i nauki: dissertatsiya na soiskanie uchenoi stepeni kandidata yuridicheskikh nauk [Criminal Code of the RSFSR 1926: a compromise of ideology and science: Candidate of Sciences (Law) dissertation]. Kazan, 2009. 192 p.
11. Kant I. Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone. In: Kant I. Sobranie sochinenii v vos’mi tomakh. Tom 6 [Collected works in eight volumes. Volume 6]. Moscow: Choro, 1994. 613 p. (In Russ.).
12. Kozachenko I.Ya.,Kozachenko E.B. Criminal law calculation of the goals of criminal punishment. In: Lapshin V.F. (Ed.). Nakazanie v usloviyakh gumanizatsii ugolovnoi politiki Rossii: sbornik materialov mezhvedomstvennogo nauchnoprakticheskogo seminara [Punishment in the context of humanization of criminal policy in Russia: proceedings of the interagency research-to-practice seminar]. Vologda: VIPE FSIN Rossii, 2011. P. 17. (In Russ.).
13. Christie N. Prichinyaya bol’: rol’ nakazaniya v ugolovnoi politike [Limits to Pain: The Role of Punishment in Penal Policy]. Ed. by Ya.I. Gilinskii. Saint Petersburg: Aleteiya, 2011. 162 p.
14. On the basics of the system of prevention of offenses in the Russian Federation: Federal Law 182-FZ of June 23, 2016. In: Sobranie zakonodatel’stva Rossiiskoi Federatsii [Collection of legislation of the Russian Federation]. 2016. No. 26
(Part I). Art. 3851. (In Russ.).
15. Remenson A.L. Is retribution the purpose of punishment? In: Remenson A.L. Izbrannye trudy [Selected works]. Tomsk: Izd-vo Tom. un-ta, 2003. 98 p. (In Russ.).
16. Seliverstov V.I. Criminal-legal and criminal-executive issues of conditional early release. Ugolovnoe pravo=Criminal Law, 2015, no. 3, pp. 126–130. (In Russ.).
17. Sergeevskii N.D. Russkoe ugolovnoe pravo. Chast’ Obshchaya [Russian criminal law. The General Part]. Sixth edition. Saint Petersburg: Tip. M. Stasyulevicha, 1905. 368 p.
18. Kruglikov L.L. (Ed.). Ugolovnoe pravo Rossii. Chast’ Obshchaya: uchebnik dlya vuzov [Russian criminal law. The General Part: a textbook for universities]. Second edition, revised and supplemented. Moscow: Volters Kluver, 2005. 592 p.
19. Esakov G.A. (Ed.). Ugolovnyi kodeks Rossiiskoi Federatsii: postateinyi kommentarii [The Criminal Code of the Russian Federation: article-by-article commentary]. Seventh edition, revised and supplemented. Moscow: Prospekt, 2017. 736 p.
20. Utkin V.A. Problemy teorii ugolovnykh nakazanii: kurs lektsii [Problems of the theory of criminal penalties: a course of lectures]. Tomsk: Izdatel’skii dom Tomskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta, 2018. 239 p.
21. Filippov A.N. On the goals of punishment under the legalities during the reign of Peter the Great. Yuridicheskii vestnik=Law Bulletin, 1890, vol.5, no. 5–6. (In Russ.).