Insisting on harsh retribution doesn’t just dehumanise perpetrators of crime, says Aaron Hendry on The Spinoff – it ignores all evidence about what works to reduce reoffending. “I too once demanded harsher penalties, believing that the harsher the penalty, the less likely a person would offend,” Hendry says. “[I was] trapped in my own worldview, untouched by the suffering and trauma that too often sets a person upon a path that leads to such violent offending. [But] over 10 years as a youth development worker has shown me how wrong I was.”

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