Incapacitation refers to physical restrictions used to mitigate or eliminate a person's ability to commit a criminal offense. It is generally recognized as constituting one of the four primary justifications for the use of punishment in criminal justice systems—the other three being deterrence, retribution, and rehabilitation. Along with deterrence and rehabilitation, it is a “forward-looking” philosophy that seeks to prevent future offenses, whereas retribution is used to redress social inequity caused by past offenses. Unlike deterrence or rehabilitation, however, incapacitation is aimed at ...

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