I recently had a discussion with somebody who had read the book "Children of Mother Earth" by the Dutch author Thea Beckman. She claimed that in the book, the idea was proposed to no longer lock up criminals, but mark them in the face instead so that people would recognize their crimes while looking it them.
The story is set in the future Greenland (now called Thule), post Worldwar III, where women lead the world and environment is more important than anything.
Below a (translated) paragraph from Wikipedia
Those who don't comply to the rules, are marked with a stamp right above the beard line. Once the mark is set, you are avoided by every Thuleen (inhabitant of the fictive country). A punishment with better results than imprisonment. The ink is very resistant and, depending on the color, remains visible on the skin for years. A green mark stands for environmental damage and is visible for 6 months, a red one for small crimes like vandalism and violence and is visible for 3 years. Purple is for severe maltreatment, visible for 5 years and black is for murder in the first and second degree and stays visible for 7 years. Most people marked with a black stamp volunteer to work in the mines.
She was convinced that this approach would make for a safe community, whereas I couldn't believe criminals would behave any better in the described world.
What would be the impact of a similar approach? Can you reference similar approaches in real life? How would criminals interact with people surrounding them? And would it really make for a better world?
Edit- As suggested below, I define a different focus for this question. Can you explain why this would be a good idea, e.g. why it would be as safe or safer than locking people up?