Retribution does not teach anyone how to live, how to over come the problems they face or how to make progress. It instead tries to make the community fear punishment, however, to some people in the United States, prison is not a punishment but instead a blessing because they get somewhere to stay, and they aren't being tortured. Recidivism rates continue to rise, and if the United States focused on helping their people, the long term benefits for the community would out last any other benefits with rehabilitation
Although it is important for criminals to be punished for their crimes, in an ideal world, they should be able to re-enter society after having been rehabilitated. Former convicts should be able to avoid recidivism by re-integrating into society as law abiding citizens. In this way, they can benefit from their time in prison.
The resolutions asks if rehabilitation should be valued over retribution. It does not ask us to choose one or the other. So, if you value retribution over rehabilitation, you are saying that you basically do not care about the health of that human being, but only that he pay for his crime. If you value rehabilitation over retribution, however, you are putting health first, and then later the criminal can pay penance for his transgressions. Therefore, the most just thing to do would be to value rehabilitation first. Set that before punishment, and when the individual is healthy, it will make the punishment that much more effective.
What does it value society to hold someone in jail because it is supposedly going to make the criminal pay for his crime? It is society that has to pay to keep the criminal locked up, and yes the criminal looses his freedom, but what is the point? We should only consider detaining someone when they are a further threat to society, otherwise any criminal should have the option of going through a rehabilitation program.
Even in the best societies, there are some people who are simply evil, like Charles Manson. But they just need to be kept away from society, not sought out for revenge. The question is not mercy for them or even rehabilitating them specifically for them. It's about us, and keeping our souls clean. Try to make them function in this society, keep them away from gentle people, but no revenge!
As much joy as it might give some people, we can not afford to punish our criminals any longer! The cost is too high! Rehabilitate them as efficiently and quickly as possible and send them on their way in hopes to never see them again! The sooner we start working on rehabilitating the sooner we'll become expert at it.
I have worked in law enforcement for over a decade. The vast majority of chronic repeat offenders are the ones who have nothing else going for them. They have no education, no job skills, and usually have some kind of addiction or mental health problems that have not been treated. They have no hope of ever supporting themselves through legitimate (non-criminal) means, so they continue stealing, forging, defrauding, etc. Programs that give convicts job training and skills have been shown to cut recidivism rates.
We can't assume that all people in society are only stopped from doing crimes because of their morality; in order to have a more realistic view of the world, we just also consider that many also stop themselves from committing crimes because we fear the punishment; If I wanted to steal, a major deterrence factor would be that I would get caught and face consequences. Similarly, a world where rehabilitation is always valued over the sense of punishment is a world where criminals have a reduced sense of deterrence to do crime. Ultimately, this leads to more crime in society