The presented study is devoted to the issues of disclosing the content of
the goals of criminal punishment, analyzing the possibilities of their actual achievement in
the practical implementation of criminal punishment, determining the political and legal
significance of the goals of criminal punishment indicated in the criminal legislation.
The purpose of punishment as a definition of criminal legislation was formed relatively
recently, despite the fact that theories of criminal punishment and the purposes of its
application began to form long before our era. These doctrinal teachings, in essence, boil
down to defining two diametrically opposed goals of criminal punishment: retribution and
prevention. The state, on the other hand, determines the priority of one or another goal of
the punishment assigned for the commission of a crime.
The criminal policy of Russia as a whole is focused on mitigating the criminal law
impact on the offender. One of the manifestations of this direction is the officially declared
humanization of the current criminal legislation of the Russian Federation. However,
over the course of several years, the announced “humanization of criminal legislation”
has followed the path of amending and supplementing the Criminal Code of the Russian
Federation: introducing additional opportunities for exemption from criminal liability and
punishment, reducing the limits of punishments specified in the sanctions of articles of the
Special Part of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, and including in the system of
criminal punishments of types of measures that do not imply isolation from society. At the
same time the goals of criminal punishment are not legally revised, although the need for
such a decision has already matured.
Based on consideration of the opinions expressed in the scientific literature regarding
the essence of those listed in Part 2 of Art. 43 of the Criminal Code of the Russian
Federation, the goals of punishment are determined that each of them is subject to
reasonable criticism in view of the abstract description or the impossibility of achieving
in the process of law enforcement (criminal and penal) activities. This circumstance gives
rise to the need to revise the content of the goals of criminal punishment and to determine
one priority goal that meets the needs of modern Russian criminal policy.
According to the results of the study the conclusion is substantiated that the only
purpose of criminal punishment can be considered to ensure proportionality between
the severity of the punishment imposed and the social danger (harmfulness) of the crime
committed. This approach to determining the purpose of criminal punishment is fully
consistent with the trends of modern criminal policy in Russia, since it does not allow the
use of measures, the severity of which, in terms of the amount of deprivation and legal
restrictions, clearly exceeds the social danger of the committed act. In addition, it is
proportionality, not prevention, that underlies justice – one of the fundamental principles
of criminal law.
Professor of the Department of Criminal Law and Criminology of the Law Faculty of the Vologda Institute of Law and Economics of the Federal Penal Service of Russia, Vologda, Russian Federation PhD. in Law, Associate Professor, Honored Lawyer of the Russian Federation.
, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Head of the Department of Fire Training of the Academy of the Federal Penal Service of Russia, Ryazan, Russian Federation.
, e-mail email@example.com
1. Baranov YU. V. Stadii resocializacii osuzhdennyh v svete novyh sociologo-antropologicheskih vozzrenij i social’noj filosofii
[Stages of resocialization of convicts in the light of new sociological and anthropological views and social philosophy].
Moscow, 2006. 275 p. (In Russ.).
2. Dyurkgejm E. Norma i patologiya [Norm and pathology]. Sociologiya prestupnosti. Sovremennye burzhuaznye teorii
[Sociology of crime. Contemporary bourgeois theories]. Moscow, 1966, pp. 82–88. (In Russ.).
3. ZHalinskij A. E. Izbrannye trudy. Tom 2. Ugolovnoe pravo [Selected Works. Vol. 2. Criminal law]. Moscow, 2015. 575 p.
4. Kilimbaev R. V. Osnovanie i predely otvetstvennosti za neokonchennoe prestuplenie. Diss. kand. yurid. nauk [Basis and
limits of liability for an unfinished crime. Diss. PhD. in Law]. Ryazan, 2020. 186 p. (In Russ.).
5. Kryukov V. V. Celi ugolovnogo nakazaniya: ponyatie, vidy, mekhanizmy dostizheniya. Diss. kand. yurid. nauk [Purposes
of criminal punishment: concept, types, mechanisms of achievement. Diss. PhD. in Law]. Saratov, 2018. 251 p. (In Russ.).
6. Lapshin V. F. Istinnaya cel’ ugolovnogo nakazaniya i kriterii ee dostizhimosti [The true purpose of criminal punishment and
criteria for its attainability]. ZHurnal rossijskogo prava – Journal of Russian Law, 2018, no. 5, pp. 75–85. (In Russ.).
7. Luk’yanova L. M., Kipriyanova E. A. Teoriya sistem i sistemnyj analiz: zakonomernosti i modeli celepolaganiya i
celerealizacii [Systems theory and systems analysis: patterns and models of goal setting and goal realization]. Uchenye
zapiski Instituta upravleniya obrazovaniem Rossijskoj akademii obrazovaniya – Scientific notes of the Institute of Education
Management of the Russian Academy of Education, 2004, no. 13, pp. 216–221. (In Russ.).
8. Luneev V. V. Istoki i poroki rossijskogo zakonotvorchestva [Origins and flaws of Russian lawmaking]. Moscow, 2014.
320 p. (In Russ.).
9. Minyazeva T. F., Dobryakov D. A. Ispravlenie osuzhdennogo (prestupnika) kak cel’ nakazaniya [Correction of a convicted
person (criminal) as the purpose of punishment]. Evrazijskaya advokatura – Eurasian advocacy, 2016, no. 2, pp. 63–66.
10. Muzyka A. A. Kompensacionnaya funkciya ugolovnogo prava: konceptual’nye polozheniya [Compensatory function
of criminal law: conceptual provisions]. Problemy ukrepleniya zakonnosti i pravoporyadka: nauka, praktika, tendencii –
Problems of strengthening legality and order: science, practice, trends, 2016, vol. 2, no. 9, pp. 343–348. (In Russ.).
11. Pestryachihina M. D. Obzhalovanie prigovora, vynesennogo v osobom poryadke [Appealing against a verdict rendered
in a special procedure]. YUridicheskij fakt – Legal fact, 2019, no. 72, pp. 57–59. (In Russ.).
12. Pozdnyakov V. Kriterii ocenki ispravleniya osuzhdennogo: kakim im byt’? [Criteria for assessing the correction of a
convict: what should they be?]. Vedomosti ugolovno-ispolnitel’noj sistemy – Journal of the Penal System, 2003, no. 8,
pp. 42–45. (In Russ.).
13. Pozdnyakov E. A. Filosofiya prestupleniya: dlya tekh, kto ne boitsya poteryat’ illyuzii [Philosophy of crime: for those who
are not afraid to lose their illusions]. Moscow, 2001. 575 p. (In Russ.).
14. Poznyshev S. V. Osnovy penitenciarnoj nauki [Fundamentals of Penal Science]. Moscow, 1923. 352 p. (In Russ.).
15. Sevost’yanov R. A. «Priznanie viny» i «raskayanie» kak kriterii ispravleniya osuzhdennogo v sudebnoj praktike na stadii
ispolneniya prigovora [«Confession of guilt» and «repentance» as criteria for the correction of a convicted person in judicial
practice at the stage of execution of the sentence]. Vestnik Saratovskoj gosudarstvennoj yuridicheskoj akademii – Bulletin
of the Saratov State Law Academy, 2017, no. 6, pp. 226–232. (In Russ.).
16. Sinichkin A. A. Ocenka stepeni ispravleniya osuzhdennyh k lisheniyu svobody. Avtoref. diss. kand. yurid. nauk
[Assessment of the degree of correction of those sentenced to imprisonment. Author’s abstract diss. PhD. in Law]. Kazan,
2003. 22 p. (In Russ.).
17. Sych K. A., Lapshin V. F. Sostoyatel’nost’ absolyutnyh teorij ugolovnogo nakazaniya: proverka vremenem [The
consistency of absolute theories of criminal punishment: the test of time]. YUridicheskaya nauka i praktika: Vestnik
Nizhegorodskoj akademii MVD Rossii – Legal science and practice: Journal of Nizhny Novgorod academy of the Ministry of
internal affairs of Russia, 2017, no. 2, pp. 120–123. (In Russ.).
18. Lapshin V. F. (red.) Ugolovnoe nakazanie: social’no-pravovoj analiz, sistematizaciya i tendencii razvitiya [Criminal
punishment: social and legal analysis, systematization and development trends]. Moscow, 2018. 408 p. (In Russ.).
19. YAnchuk I. A. Kriterii ocenki stepeni ispravleniya osuzhdennyh: kakimi im byt’ [Criteria for assessing the degree of
correction of convicts: what they should be]. Vestnik instituta: prestuplenie, nakazanie, ispravlenie – Bulletin of Institute :
crime, punishment, correction, 2008, no. 4, pp. 56–58. (In Russ.).