58. Punishment Must Include Education

All lawbreakers, regardless of how small or how big the crime, should be required to take educational courses designed to explain to the lawbreaker or criminal why what they did was wrong, why the law that prohibits what they did exists and how it came to be, and why that law should be respected. The courses lawbreakers and criminal would be required to take would depend on the type and severity of the offense and would be in addition to any fines levied. All this should apply even to people who get traffic tickets. For example, if somebody gets a ticket for passing a red light, as part of their punishment, they should be required to take a course in traffic signals that explains, among other things, how they work, how the lengths of green, yellow, and red lights are determined, etc. Ticketed drivers should also be taught all the relevant statistics concerning violations of whatever traffic law they broke (in this case it would be statistics concerning the number of people killed or injured as a result of red lights being run, amount of property damage, per capita calculations, etc.). (Much of this basic road infrastructure information and victim testimonials, etc., should be taught in driving schools anyway.)

Criminals should be taught in detail, even shown videos, about how their crimes (or types of crime) can or have affected both the victims of the crime, their families, others in society, and even themselves. All kinds of statistics related to that offense should also be taught. Criminals should be educated with how other countries and societies and even how at other times in history criminals, or merely accused criminals, were treated by both law enforcement authorities and the general population. One of the goals should be to get to the point where criminals themselves appreciate both the humane and rehabilitative natures of modern criminal justice systems.

Criminals should be encouraged to apologize to the victims without expecting anything in return, much less good will from the victim or their families.
Criminals who do not have marketable skills should be required to take courses to develop one.

Criminals and all other lawbreakers, even traffic violators, should also be educated as to what exactly they need to do to resolve their matters quickly and efficiently. For example, every traffic ticket or other legal infraction or criminal papers that are handed out to lawbreakers, should include a clear set of sufficiently detailed instructions on how to resolve the matter quickly and efficiently. Maybe such papers should always have a telephone number that people could call to have any related questions answered.

Criminals in prison should be required to study and learn a trade so that when they are released they would be an asset to society and have a greater sense of self-worth.

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