In India bhadra means gentleman and abhadra means uncivilized man. So sometimes he does like gentlemen and sometimes like foolish rascal. Kvacin nivartate 'bhadrat kvacic carati tat punah [SB 6.1.10]. After coming from the prison house, jail, he decides, "No more I shall commit. I shall now become gentleman." But as soon as his friends, criminals, again mix with them, he again commits the same sinful activity. So in this condition, atonement, if he cannot change his character, so what is the use of this atonement? Prayascittam atho 'partham [SB 6.1.10]. Apartham means useless. If he cannot change his character, change his mind, then the punishment or prayascittam is apartha, useless.
Lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.1.10, Honolulu, May 11, 1976