Prevention Or Punishment?

DETERRENCE PROGRAMS AND THREE-strike laws, which put a criminal away for life, are not mutually exclusive crime-reduction concepts ((Law Enforcement, Nov. 14)). Many people can avoid a life of crime if they are given more positive outlets for their energies -- thus the true benefit of "prevention programs." But we must also accept the harsh reality that many criminals are so hardcore that no amount of positive effort will reform them. These repeat, violent offenders must be locked away forever; there is no other way to stop them. Yes, jailing them costs money, but freeing them could cost the lives of...

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