I want to make clear on this page that, in designing a criminal justice system, I want the #1 priority to be preventing crime and ensuring the safety of all citizens.
Some people think about retributive justice, like the idea of making someone pay for their crime, or getting revenge on someone who has wronged them. I don't like this idea. For one, it conflicts with my religious beliefs, which you can read about here. This idea also seems primitive and it often seems to devolve into anger, hate, and demonizing people who commit crimes.
I know people who have been to jail. One of my friend's husbands took his own life while in jail, leaving her as a single parent. In this case, his psychiatric medication had been withheld from him, by the prison staff. These sorts of abuses are common in American prisons. I think it is important to view people who commit crimes--even those who are legitimately guilty--with compassion, and work to heal them, and protect them from harming other people as well as themselves.
I tend to see people who commit crimes as people who are not necessarily bad people, but who have made bad choices. I want them to be held accountable for their actions, but I don't want them to be made to suffer unnecessarily.
I want the justice system to keep society safe, keeping people who are at risk for harming others safely locked up, but I don't want these people to be treated harshly, and I want the justice system to help give them options and help them to grow as people so that when they are released, they have good options and make good choices.
I think this is the best way to prevent crime.