Our criminal justice system is built to inflict pain. Here’s how we can heal it.

(CNN)California’s San Quentin is one of the oldest prisons in the country. Located on a parcel of land jutting out into the San Francisco Bay, the mammoth 167-year-old facility has a lonely and intimidating look from the outside — and on the inside, it’s just as forlorn. This approach makes some intuitive sense. The problem is that adding harm to harm inevitably produces more harm. Too often, people come out of prison bitter — not better. While they’re locked away, their children suffer and may be led astray. And rather than derailing the cycle of violence and trauma, our system’s retributive approach may often support and even accelerate that destructive cycle: According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 68% of …