On the day before Christmas, Justice Voices host David Risley challenges both the philosophical and moral underpinnings of our currently prevailing punishment paradigm of criminal justice. He advocates for a pivot to a problem-solving paradigm of criminal justice as being both more consistent with core Christian principles and a more effective means of achieving safer communities. He begins by observing: “Most people think justice means giving wrongdoers the punishment they deserve. But there are at least two huge problems with that view. “First, since when did anyone other than God know enough about why people do what they do to sit in judgment about what they deserve? “Second, since when did doing deliberate harm to a captive become an act of righteousness? “In the spirit of Christmas, speaking as a Christian, I will add a third: In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught that we should rise above a spirit of retaliation, of retribution for wrongs; that judgment of what people deserve should be left to God; and that we should love and treat wrongdoers as we would want to be treated ourselves – the Golden Rule.” After exploring applicable teachings of Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount, Risley turns from conceptual constructs to practical applications: “If imprisonment as a form of punishment worked in reducing crime, then at our current world-leading rate of incarceration per capita in the United States, we should be living in an almost crime-free society. But, we are not. Far from it. “It is not getting ‘tough on crime’ to keep doing or even doubling down on the same failed things and expecting different results. “No one in their right mind would say that continuing to adhere to an approach to criminal justice that breeds crime, rather than reducing it, is either rational or a responsible use of taxpayer money. “So, why do we keep doing the same things and expecting different results? “There are better ways, exploring which is what this podcast is all about.” In advocating for a pivot to a problem solving paradigm of criminal justice, he maintains such an approach is both more functionally rational and morally justifiable as a means of achieving better criminal justice outcomes and safer communities, as well as being a more responsible use of taxpayer funds. As examples, he refers to the principles and practices of restorative justice introduced in Episode 14, part 2, and to trauma informed approaches to policing and criminal justice such as those described in recommendations by a Pennsylvania criminal justice action team. As his bottom line on the eve of Christmas, he cites the Golden Rule: Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.