On the one hand, I do believe that rehabilitation makes sense; once most people get out of their 20s and 30s, the small-brain hormonal impulsiveness behind a fair portion of crime starts to fade just a bit, and long-term prisoners need something to replace that part of their lives with.
So the prison college program hignlighted on NPR earlier this week would seem to make some sense.
On the other hand, the sound bite of one of the classes:
Professor Delia Mellis teaches a modern U.S. history class and, when I arrive, 18 men dressed in green jumpsuits are discussing sexual identity politics.
“I don’t think he’s saying that; I think he’s making a distinction between it being gay acts — homosexual acts — and it being a gay identity,” one student interjects.
Mellis responds, “That’s absolutely his central idea, right?”
…makes it clear that retribution and revenge would seem to be part of the goal, still.