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Beyond Vengeance and Retribution:
A Reasoned Approach to Unreasonable Behavior

James Galezewski

Pages: 144
ISBN: 978-145751-904-8
List Price: 14.95
Category: Nonfiction
Available: April 2013
Edition: Perfectbound

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America’s criminal justice system starts with the assumption that people freely choose to behave in anti-social ways, and meets out degrees of punishment commensurate with the seriousness of the offense, with consideration of previous infractions. This approach has been largely unsuccessful, producing high rates of recidivism even as we incarcerate more criminals than any other nation in the world. The failure may lie in the fact that we made philosophical assumptions about the nature of man and behavior that are inaccurate, and designed a system based on errant assumptions. Instead of arguing about philosophy, we might do better to look at what science can tell us about human behavior. We could then modify our approach based on what we know from science, rather than what we believe from philosophy. Our focus can then shift from anger and revenge for the evil that was done, to changing people and protecting society.

Jim Galezewski studied psychology at the University of Wisconsin – Parkside.
After graduating, he became a Police Offi cer with the Milwaukee Police Department, a career that spanned over 31 years. Jim retired in 2008 as a Captain, which afforded him the time to explore many of the deeper questions of human nature. He sought to use what he had seen and read to make sense of the tragedies that he witnessed and reach some conclusions about how we might do better as a society. Why are some people so bad? How do they get that way? Why can’t they see it? Why do good people sometimes do bad things? Why don’t they change? How can we stop, or at least minimize crime? The answers he found and the conclusions he reached were of no value unless they could be shared with others, which is why he undertook this publication.