This article criticizes the standard way philosophers pose issues about the core practices of criminal justice institutions. Attempting to get at some of the presuppositions of posing these issues in terms of punishment, I construct a revised version of Rawls's ‘telishment’ case, a revision based on actual features of contemporary criminal justice practices in the USA. In addressing the implications of ‘racialment’, as I call it, some connections are made to current philosophical discussions about race. I conclude with brief remarks about the importance of race to philosophical discussion as such.
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