* * * * * * * * * *
People's whole idea of punishment of criminals is pretty putrid.
Conservatives often display a mean streak, demanding death penalties and long jail sentences, just out of a stupid emotional desire for revenge.
Revenge is a pretty rotten way to live.
Of course, the Liberal approach that crime is just fine, no problem (as long as it doesn't affect me) is not exactly good for civilization either.
Probably what needs to happen is that a guilty person should get hurt hard enough so that he feels it, and then the effort should be on swallowing our pride and straightening the guy out. Of course, some people are unfixably bad, and if we're dealing with an irreparable thief or serial rapist he just needs to be removed from free society.
But just housing masses of people and not actively doing something with them, is not productive. And killing them after they're convicted by a long, fluid, unreliable string of witnesses, lawyers, momentary philosophical fashions, stupid and emotional juries, and ego-contaminated judges -- that's probably not a good thing either. A lot of wrong people get killed that way.
The government, always wishing to grow its enterprise, could employ a lot of people in this rehabbing process. And they could employ a lot more to regulate the rehabbers, and they could employ a lot more to regulate the rehabber regulators...
We could almost all of us work for the government !!