- Jun 17, 2005
Is it the job of police to "look at the reason" people commit crimes?
Nope, the court system does. We intentionally built it to do so. That is why we have a jury of your peers instead of a professional jury system or a fiat judicial rule. But that court system has been corrupted, and no longer serves it's original purpose, but that is a whole other conversation.
Your point, while made with good intentions, leads directly and inexorably to the effective outcome that we don't arrest or prosecute some crimes because the folks committing them "have reasons" and to do so despite those reasons means we end up with "too many" of one type of person in jail for it.
It might just mean that we allow some crime to slide, or maybe more importantly we target rehabilitation instead of punishment for a large number of crimes when we detect certain types of extenuating circumstances. It is ultimately a question of goals. All our actions should always be with our goals in mind. What do we really want, to stop crime, or punish those that do them? When those two things become in conflict which do we choose? Punishment might make us feel good about justice, but it does almost nothing to stop the actually crime. Rehabilitation often feels like we are not getting retribution for wrongs committed against us, but ultimately lowers crime much more effectively. So what do we choose? To feel good about punishing the wicked, or redeeming them?