After learning about civil asset forfeiture and how widespread it is, I'm no longer convinced their primary purpose is actually "punishment so that people atone for wrongdoing" or "protecting society from really dangerous people". I'm sure some small percentage of prison population truly fits that description, the question is how large/small. Basically I'd argue US prison system isn't a good example because it's acting on different incentives entirely. I'd argue this depends drastically on the crime. Some crimes are legit mistakes that cause harm, but not irreparable harm. Atonement/forgiveness should be implicit at least in the design of how punishments of these crimes are handled. Where I'm less sold on forgiveness is for the most serious crimes. I'm not in a position where I feel okay preaching to others that they should forgive in those situations.