We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
A compassionate person will see merit on both sides of this debate. Our response to crime, though, is an important example of mercy to one denying justice to another. If a person is robbed and decides not to press charges, the victim's magnanimity may expose another to being robbed and perhaps injured.
Prisons can be decent places and most would be already if the inmates would treat each other decently. Most of the mistreatment comes from other prisoners and this is to be expected, since we are putting a lot of bad eggs in one carton. When prison authorities take measures to control dangerous behavior, they are accused of cruelty and of failing to rehabilitate offenders. When prison authorities are more lax, they are accused (by often the same people) of failing to protect prisoners.
Criminality is poorly understood. It is by no means clear that poverty is a cause of criminality; rather, the same decision processes that lead to criminality may lead to poverty.
I tend to favor the Hawk on moral and pragmatic grounds. I want the Dove's voice heard so that we remain squeamish about imprisoning people. It should be a measure we take with great care.