Last year the Trump administration made some important reforms in our Federal penal system.
More reforms to the legal and correctional systems should be pursued. Too many young men are being incarcerated, and once in prison they are often hardened by exposure to evil and twisted felons. There they are also prey to purveyors of hate and alien political philosophies. Thus, the prison becomes a veritable academy for crime, riots, and revolution. The recidivism rate is atrocious.
We must insist on alternative sentencing whenever feasible and effective. Many non-violent offenders need not be incarcerated. Instead, I believe they should be compelled to recompense their victims. They should be jailed only when they fail to make restitution or are guilty of repeated offenses.
When prison is necessary, I believe that great care must be exercised to segregate prisoners based on their age, gender, nature of their crime, physical strength, sexual orientation, and propensity for violence. To achieve this, our present places of incarceration should be effectually divided into separate areas of control or replaced by smaller, more numerous, specialized facilities. The most vicious felons must be strictly separated from the general prison population. Vigorous rehabilitation programs should be pursued with younger prisoners.
Custodial care of prison inmates should be regarded as a high calling. Those who do this work should be well trained and equitably compensated. There would be significant costs associated with such changes, but the benefits to society could be enormous.
Finally, there should be great emphasis on helping persons smoothly transition from prison to open society.