"You said yourself that this man had a history of violent felonies and was, in the case of your family's ordeal, violent. Terrible story, I'm very sorry to hear, but your anecdote in no way relates to a statement about non-violent drug offenders."
You missed the part where I'm telling you that you need to look at what is considered a "non-violent drug offender". In our state, a "non-violent" anything is based *JUST* on their latest offense now. Yes, our monster had a history -- but new legislation made it impossible to consider that during post release supervision.
Also, most stories about "non-violent drug offenders" in prison statistics completely ignored the offenders history which helped pass the crazy legislation in my state.
"but your outrage is obviously clouding your logic."
Trust me -- it's not. There are four basic reasons society puts people in prison:
1. Retribution – they must pay their ‘debt to society’
2. Rehabilitation – assist them in re-entering society as a safe and productive member
3. Segregation – they are separated from society for its safety
4. Deterrence – The price to pay to society must try to deter the committing crimes against society
The table on which we rest our machine that attempts to keep society safe and provide a way “back” in to society for those who have hurt the innocent sits upon 4 legs represented by each one of the above reasons.
What we have done is hack off lengths of retribution, deterrence and segregation and lengthened rehabilitation to the point of absurdity. The table is now uneven, unstable and the machine meant to help keep the innocent safe can’t possibly work effectively. Each tilt and rock of that table spills out those who aren’t ready to re-enter society and encourages those who would otherwise be deterred to harm the innocent.
Parole has a purpose -- and it's to make sure the offender is READY to renter society -- and if not, make it EASY to put them back in prison Recent legislation in my state has hamstrung this important role at the expense of public safety.