All this is pretty enough--except the relapse, which implies the poor consolation of a repetition of the offence, which would be no great satisfaction for the victims of the first. But it is all hypothetical and theoretical. The essential thing, so far as the victims are concerned, is that the offender goes unpunished.
It is true that occasional offenders deserve consideration, from the point of view of prevention in particular; but honest folk who are injured by them deserve it still more.
I do not therefore agree with Garofalo, who proposed at Brussels that the conditional sentence should be subject to the consent of the injured party; but I think that it ought not to be permitted until there has been an indemnification for the victims of the offence, or at least a guarantee, either by the offender, or directly by the State.
In short, for occasional criminals who commit slight offences, in circumstances which show that they are not of a dangerous type, I say, as I have said already, that reparation of the damage inflicted would suffice as a defensive measure, without a conditional sentence of imprisonment
As to the occasional criminals who commit serious offences, for which reparation alone would not be sufficient, temporary removal from the scene of the crime should be added in the less serious cases, whilst in the cases of greater gravity, owing to material and personal considerations, there should be indefinite segregation in an agricultural colony, with lighter work and milder discipline than those prescribed in colonies for born criminals and recidivists.
The last category is that of criminals through an impulse of passion, not anti-social but susceptible of excuse, such as love, honour, and the like.
For these individuals all punishment is clearly useless, at any rate as a psychological counteraction of crime, for the very conditions of the psychological convulsion which caused them to offend precludes any deterrent influence in a legal menace.
I therefore believe that in typical cases of criminals of passion, where there is no clear demand for mental treatment in a criminal lunatic asylum, imprisonment is of no use whatever. Strict reparation of damage will suffice to punish them, whilst they are punished already by genuine and sincere remorse immediately after the criminal explosion of their legitimate passion. Temporary removal from the scene of their crime and from the residence of the victim's family might be superadded.