Why is the American criminal justice system so focused on punishment?

Anonymous
From my knowledge as a criminology/criminal justice undergrad, it appears to be the case that the American criminal justice system tends to be and focus more on punitive leanings rather than other methods of adjudication or justice. One piece of evidence for this can be the mass incarceration rate of individuals in prisons across the country, relative to other developed and undeveloped countries internationally, taking into account population I believe. I also believe another piece of evidence can be the historical account of the development of social sciences related to criminal justice and criminology, where criminality related to someone being evil or bad and acting out of their malicious free will. Competing forms of why people commit crimes and the best remedies for this has yielded many punitive models due to the fact that these models might produce the best benefits in terms of correction of the behavior, deterrence, or “just desserts.”

There’s an infinite number of answers to this question of mine.

This could be an interesting topic for a paper.
Updates:
7 mo
Also, if you look at videos across all forms of media depicting criminal acts, you’ll see many people commenting saying things to the effect of

“Hope that fucker gets raped and killed in prison.”

“Someone should torture that guy.”

“They need to be shot dead.”

Etc.

The call to brutal, cruel, and perhaps unnecessary violence towards people who commit crimes is evident from historical accounts of public executions, like hanging and the guillotine.
7 mo
Not only this but people used to cut off the hands of thieves, stone promiscuous women, etc.

The more we rewind time, the more barbarism increases. WHY?

Why is the American criminal justice system so focused on punishment?
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