For some years now, The Herald-Mail has advocated an approach to criminal justice that would allow first offenders to see how they might end up, if their behavior doesn't change.
For example, we believe men who've been served with protective orders for abusing spouses or girlfriends should have to visit a prison and meet inmates who've allowed their violent impulses to turn them into murderers. Perhaps if they saw the tragic end of someone else's story, abusers might be able to prevent the same thing from happening in their lives.
To our knowledge, no such program exists, but a Bucks County, Pa. judge last week decided to do something similar, opting to educate some young criminals instead of jailing them.
The youths in question did their crime last Dec. 8, on the third night of Hanukkah, breaking out Martin Markovitz's living room window and knocking over the family's electric Menorah, a symbol of the Jewish holiday.