Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Prison System

A friend of mine came up with this idea - the more I think about it the more I like it, which means it has no chance of actually happening - which should make the bleeding harts and the criminals happy.

Problems - Over crowded prisions, cost of running prisions too high.

Solution - Contract our prisons to China.   Yep - pay China to run them, in China.

Think of the upsides:
Much better deterrent.
It'll be much cheaper.
We won't care if they escape.
We can use that real estate for something useful.
Property values will go up in those areas.

slight increase in our massive trade imbalance - really slight, less than the rounding errors.

Oh yeah, the people who are more concerned with criminal rights than victim rights won't like it.   Wait - what victim rights, we don't have victim rights.

In keeping with my belief that people should take responsiblity for they're own actions.  Unless someone was actually holding a gun/knife on you or a family member.  When you do something - it was your decision, your action therefore your responsibility.  It wasn't society or your parents or your bad teachers - you decided, you acted, you're responsible.

So, I'm thinking sentences should be based on how long it will take the future inmate to pay off his dept to the victims, and repay the system for having to deal with their crap.

So - you work or you don't eat, and you don't sleep inside.
You work enough and you get 3 good meals from food you grew your self (or traded for), and you get to sleep inside.    You work a bit harder and you get to start paying off the victim.   A bit harder and you get to start paying off your incarceration fee.   When your balance hits zero - we let you go.  Have a nice day.

Some people are going to think this is a bit harsh - well how harsh was it when the criminal violated the rights of the victim?


  1. Great idea, here--but what about non-violent offenders where there wasn't a victim (i.e., marijuana possession busts)? or would you just like to throw those laws off the books?

    And for certain offenders (i.e., murderers and child rapists), is it even possible for them to repay their victims? Should those be capital punishment cases?

  2. Michael Z Williamson's Freehold book featured a planet where criminal offenses were punished with indenture. Of course the system also re-instituted code duello, which was handy for those cases where damage was harder to quantify.

  3. To be fair - there is no way I can cover all the bases on a blog - but since you asked :)

    Sadly we put a value on things like a human life all the time. I'm not a big fan of the death penalty, mostly because we still make too many mistakes. But since we lack an island large enough to exile them to, I suppose we're sort of stuck. I'd like to give them a choice between a bullet and a life of hard labor. Rape is harder - if there is evidence (DNA + trama) or in the case of a child - just DNA, then give the victim (or gardian) a choice between having the SOB shot, or put to hard labor until he drops dead.

    If the crime is victimless - why is it a crime?

    Granted there are a few laws like DWI - that in theory have no direct victim. However, there is a clear and direct correlation between DWI and deaths/injuries caused by drunk drivers - so I'm ok with that. If you can't show that an action either has a direct or indirect victim, or at least a high likelihood of creating a victim - why bother? Dope charges - total waste of funds. DWI nail their ass to the floor.

    There are a few crimes that in most cases don't create a victim. Trespassing for example - but I view that as a violation of rights, and I think the way we handle it now is almost adequate. I'm not sure shooting trespassers is the best approach, although there are times I think it may be the only approach.

    So for that intermediate case where society has determined the risk to others is too high (DWI) then we stick with the time penalty + paying back the cost of dealing with it.

    If your only hurting yourself and not creating a situation where your likely to cause harm to someone else (or their property), then I view it as a non-issue.

    If you look at something like suicide - I think if you make a mess that someone else has to clean up, they have first claim on any assets - to cover labor+costs, after that - I really don't care if you want to kill yourself, just leave a big tip for the folks that have to clean it up.