Our justice system's purpose is to successfully rehabilitate and reintegrate those who break the laws. Therefore, we should not through this man back in prison and undo everything he has done to rehabilitate himself and then having him released disheartened at the prospect of living a productive life, left with no employment or home, and having been exposed to a negative prison environment. Prison would likely only do more damage and harm than good for this man. I would much rather see him continue his rehabilitation efforts as he has demonstrated success and progress in the community. That is the purpose of our criminal justice system and I am so glad the Judge saw that in this case.
The purpose of our justice system is rehabilitation and segregation in prison for the few dangerous people who need to be in secure custody, not punishment, retribution or revenge. The purpose of prison is not to punish but to ensure that the person cannot re-offend while they are being rehabilitated in prison. The threat of punishment in prison does not deter potential criminals. The prospect of getting caught does. Most criminals act on impulse and are not cost/benefit weighing rational actors. Prisons do have rehab and education programs but they are ineffective in most aspects as they are underfunded and the negative environment and subculture of the prison counteracts any skills an inmate may have learned through a program. This man is doing well in the community and there is absolutely no reason to take away all of his hard work, efforts, progress and success that he has accomplished. If society is not interested in successful rehabilitation and is only interested in punishment, then we are not truly invested in preventing or reducing crime. If somebody shows that they are being rehabilitated we should commend them and respect that. It sets a good example for others and also gives offenders an incentive to improve themselves, so they can avoid further prison time. When people are addicts, like this man, they make mistakes and we need to acknowledge that.