Yes, I suppose understanding the societal reasons behind why some felons see their crime as a badge of honour is key to changing that; although, to an extent, in certain circles all over the world there is some pride in doing something dangerous or illegal.
The “chance at redemption” comment was a veiled reference to the fact that 28 (I think ?) states still have the death penalty for serious crimes (whether or not it is used in practice). That’s quite unusual in the Anglophone or “western” world, I think.
Your description of a crazy rich uncle is absolutely spot-on; America’s power and status are what endears it to other countries, but it’s only infrequently a good role model.