Absolutely on the mark about prisons. The 1957 book Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein describes what you said in the introduction perfectly. How stupid the process is. The movie left everything worthwhile out.
I’m glad that other countries are experimenting with new concepts and some states are trying new things. Although not perfect, statistically the differences are huge.
Things won’t change quickly. The concept of an eye for an eye must be overcome first. Then the sheer numbers are overwhelming. Finally, there are some people that just can’t be helped. It’s going to be a slow but necessary process to change society. Also, there are some real issues to overcome. For example:
Who will die? For a small group, that is the question. There may be no way to change the individual.
Remember the McDuff case. He was a serial killer to be executed. The Supreme Court issued a general ruling and his sentence was commuted to life. Judge Justice ruled that Texas prisons were too crowded. He was released and immediately killed two more women. Some will claim that the courts are responsible for their deaths. He falls into a statistical error group that will never be cut to zero, but needs to be minimized.
What comes first? Protecting society or punishment? Good programs work, bad ones don’t. Obviously the current prison system is not a permanent solution. It just moves the real issues into the future. So, something has to change.
Thanks for publishing this article. I only highlighted issues to overcome, no solutions. You have some here. It will be a slow process to get the attention of the public and politicians. This is a good start.