This Week’s Mtg: Crime — Punishment Vs. Rehabilitiation

Linda’s topic idea.  I just read a book on how to improve criminal justice policy, along with a lengthy special report in one of my better political magazines on the same subject. 

The main gist of both is that our system focuses on the wrong goal and a false choice concerning the tools we use to try to prevent crime.  The wrong goal is punishment for its own sake, as if overstuffed prisons were the social good that we should be maximizing.  The objective really should be less crime and safer neighborhoods, however we can best achieve that.  From what I’ve read, everybody pretty much thinks we’ve reached the practical and moral end of mass incarceration as “the” solution to crime.

The false choice (kind of) is between the two aspects of our topic: Punishment and “rehabilitation.”  It’s not that we don’t face that choice.  We do.  But, that makes it sound simpler than it is (“lock them all up” versus “coddle them”), a subject I hope we can get into.

Linda, do you want me to give as brief opening on the topic, or do you want to do it?

LINKS — (some good ones)


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