Rights and Wrongs

Rethinking the Foundations of Criminal Justice

  • William C. Heffernan

Part of the Critical Criminological Perspectives book series (CCRP)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. From Retaliation to Criminal Justice

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. William C. Heffernan
      Pages 3-13
    3. William C. Heffernan
      Pages 15-37
    4. William C. Heffernan
      Pages 39-57
    5. William C. Heffernan
      Pages 59-79
  3. Taming the Power of the State

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 81-81
    2. William C. Heffernan
      Pages 83-94
    3. William C. Heffernan
      Pages 95-109
    4. William C. Heffernan
      Pages 111-125
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 143-149

About this book


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.   


punishment victimology restorative justice penology criminology theory crime and the state victims drugs the administration of criminal justice criminal justice system

Authors and affiliations

  • William C. Heffernan
    • 1
  1. 1.John Jay College of Criminal JusticeNew YorkUSA

Bibliographic information