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Volume II, 2002

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By examining the historical treatment of punishment and the results of those practices, we can more accurately diagnose the problems and prescribe the proper remedies. It is time that we focus on healing instead of simply treating the symptoms with catastrophic intervention. As with medicine, if a problem is detected and treated early the probability of recovery and a healthy life are much higher than beginning treatment after the body has become critically ill. I propose a holistic approach to the problem of crime and punishment and here, specifically, focus on the alternative to current correctional practices. The practice of restorative justice, based on the reconciliation theory, is both the more civilized and effective method of corrections. I will include a brief history of imprisonment, recidivism rates, social cost, economic costs (both in state spending and by inmate families), prisons as business, rehabilitation, and restoration, particularly faith-based restoration.

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