Prisoners who will one day be released into society need to be reformed, not further depraved, by their incarceration. As a rule, felons should not be released until they are as statistically unlikely to commit crime as a law-abiding citizen, of like age and sex, is to offend for the first time. This is the yardstick by which sentences and reformation programs must be measured. If not, then the government is breaching its obligations to protect the innocent from preventable crime.

This article is an extract from the book ‘Principles of Good Government’ by Matthew Bransgrove