the futility of punishment

I heard a story the other day about a prisoner who was about to be released from decades of solitary confinement directly into society, with no parole officer or halfway house to ease the transition.

Some folks might shrug and say that he should be free to go because he has 'paid his debt to society.' Which makes no real sense to me - how exactly does sitting alone in a small room for dozens of years make up for anything?

A more practical and relevant question, in my opinion, would be:  
Has society paid its debt to him?

before


before you tell your child not to be upset or cry,
understand your own discomfort with strong emotions
and tears

before you command your child not to touch,
determine how you will help him satisfy his innate curiosity
and honor his intense drive to explore his environment