Source: (2003) American Criminal Law Review. 40: 1567-1571.
James L. Nolan, a professor of sociology, has written critically of the theory and practice of the therapeutic jurisprudence movement (e.g., drug courts). In this paper Morris B. Hoffman, a district court judge in Colorado, concurs with much of Nolanâ€™s analysis, particularly with criticism of the movementâ€™s theoretical assumption that therapeutic outcomes in the law are necessarily a desired good. Hoffman says this central assumption â€“ that the lawâ€™s function is to make people better â€“ is a fallacy. Hoffman goes on to explain why he thinks this assumption and other elements of therapeutic jurisprudence theory and practice are wrong. Along the way, he argues for a view of retribution as being rooted in the social contract, not in vengeance.
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