As a society is it not time we began to re-evaluate our treatment of those who perpetrate crimes within the context of the effect upon society.
Whilst the notion of punishment serves as a deterent, the actual act of punishment has a detrimental effect on society. It costs society money to punish, and attaches a strong and often permanent stigma to the offender that classes them as bad.
It does not recognise the fluidity of personality, the opportunity for transformation and it certainly doesn’t seek to change it.
Even community service is billed as a form of punishment. Isn’t it time we transcended such feudal perceptions.
The opportunity for redemption, represents the opportunity for personal growth. It also offers society compensation for the crime rather than a cost to punish.
So rather than simply excluding wrong doers from society, is it not possible to create a system of redemption and return. Perhaps with harder paths leading to a quicker return. Such paths provide a process of personal and public redemption, benefiting both society and criminal, and with it social and personal reform as opposed to stagnation, regret and a negative loop from which it is difficult to return.
Obviously such reform would still have to be done within an environment that serves to protect the masses and ensure safety and security, but at the end of a period of redemption I suspect that the criminal would be better placed to reintegrate with society.