As a society, we have a desire to drastically reduce violent crime and victimization. Unfortunately, the war on crime has not resulted in much success.
I think we can most effectively reduce violent crime and victimization through prevention.
We do need to use physical force to defend people when a criminal attacks or attempts to attack a person. We do need to detain and lock up these violent offenders. However, forceful defense and incarceration cannot solve the problem alone.
First of all, forceful defense and incarceration only do anything after an act of victimization or an attempted act of victimization has already occurred. Beyond that, the incarceration system does not rehabilitate offenders, and in many ways cannot rehabilitate them. Removing someone from free society and locking them up in an unpleasant jail with other criminals for an extended period of time obviously will not rehabilitate them. Criminals often come out of prison worse than they went into prison. Most of the inmates released from prison get rearrested within 3 years.
To stop violent crime and victimization, we need to prevent the original crime from happening in the first place. We can try to do that in many ways. For example, we can reduce the conditions that help cause criminality, such as poverty or lack of education. We can increase psychological observation and treatment of people, namely at a young age in schools.
What do you think? How do you suggest we prevent violent crime and prevent people from turning into violent criminals?