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Social exclusion and punishing assumptions

Leela Ramdeen, Greater Caribbean for Life


The Greater Caribbean for Life (GCL) paper presented by member Leela Ramdeen offers some definitions of the sociological term: "social exclusion"  and highlights the 4 major theories of punishment. The paper shares current Roman Catholic teaching critical of capital punishment where “bloodless means are sufficient to defend human life against an aggressor and to protect public order and the safety of persons”. While recognising that there are some cases in which incarceration is the only appropriate measure, it argues that a large majority of those  incarcerated should not be in prison and that capital punishment should be abolished, not only in the Caribbean, but across the world. It quotes from the UNDP Caribbean Human Development Report 2012 with its stress on a shift  from  a state protection approach to one that focuses on citizen security and participation, promoting law enforcement that is fair, accountable, and more respectful of human rights. Since this UNDP Report makes it clear that the "iron fist" is not working, the Paper highlights alternatives to incarceration such as fines, GPS monitoring systems, house arrest/confinement, suspended sentences, probation, strategies along the Restorative Justice  continuum e.g. sentencing circles, victim restitution, reparation, victim-offender mediation, family group conferencing, restorative circles, restorative systems and formalized community service programmes.

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