Thursday, August 6, 2009

Our criminal justice system has gotten way out of line. It needs to face up to the fact that its primary goal should be turning unproductive members of society into productive ones. Sure there are a few people too dangerous to rehabilitate, but these people are serving life sentences. If we release them we want them to rebuild their lives and be productive. When people have stable lives they are far less likely to comit crimes so everyone comes out safer when we do this.

From this perspective the sex offender policies are insane. How are people expected to rebuild their lives with that hanging over their heads? What is worse, most people on those lists were nonviolent. Common fairly harmless crimes like streaking or statutory rape get you lumped with someone who raped and murdered a six year old. I guarantee your neighbors will assume the later, not the former when they see your name on the list though.

Anyways, the Economist has a great article on this subject.

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