It is widely known that belonging to an organized society implies both losses and gains at an individual level. And we have clearly decided that the benefits outnumber or overpower the disadvantages. After all, we've been at it for thousands of years.
Even though the trend has been to close that gap, to restore as much invidual power in comunal decisions as possible and will likely continue to go on like this in the forseeable future, there is a cut-off point where our individual aspirations will be diluted in the general opinion.
Thus, it is up to us, to everyone, to decide what is going to be the reasoning behind our common actions. We can remain shaped by theories and ideas born in a different time and circumstances or we can use current (and past) knowledge to solve new problems with new approaches.
For instance, we can start by getting rid of the idea that if you put trash out of sight, it will eventually disappear. This applies to a wide variety of human-related activities, from ordinary waste to nuclear waste, from basic crime punishment principles to digital law.
It's in the numbers. We are simply too many and we are growing at alarming speeds. Our waste is bound to become someone else's problem.
You do not "put someone away". That person doesn't dissapear from society even if it says so in a paper stripping him or her of all or part of her rights. What's more, that person becomes an extra non-productive load for society. And yet some among us would like to see that load multiplied many many times.
To talk about rehabiliation logically, we've got to look at figures such as one-time non-repeat ofenders. Since everyone makes mistakes, I hope nobody gets too upset if I propose as a social objetive to make as many prisoners as possible fall into that category.
Simply locking people up for a given amount of time and then watching closely after that for another amount of time does not address that problem. If anything, it makes it worse. While exposing newbies to an environment of bored professionals, we expect them to spontaneously get on the opposite train of thought.
It's hard to believe that well-established, wealthy and advanced societies do not allow themselves to be kind towards their own participants. Crime should be countered by with measures that, while being proportionaly harsh, should ultimately encourage that particular individual to return to society. And the other way around, encourage society to accept them back.
As repulsive as releasing or protecting a child murderer might sound, it is in everyone's benefit to let them get on with their lives once we are reasonable certain of their true desire to accept the rules and get back into society. Certain as in we have solid systems in place which track and add to his or hers progress.
The present case is paradigmatic because it involves childs. If anybody can think they can make accurate predictions on the future behavior of a 10 year old 10 or 15 or 20 years into the future, they might need some help themselves. Any human life is inherently too random at too many levels to make that possible.
If we can't predict it, how can we be sure we are rehabiliating? Well, with figures like the one mentioned above: ratio of first time offenders to general prison population, by researching techniques and testing their impact, etc.
The practicalities have to be worked out,
What is the purpose is to argue for a