Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Sane Criminal Justice System

The US economy is burdened with massive health care, military, and criminal justice expenditures. This is a problem that needs to be addressed through public policy measures, involving the downsizing of our military and criminal justice system, meaning the deterrence of crime through harsher punishments including the expansion of the death sentence for repeat offenders.

In the ideal penal system, crime is met with harsh, but brief, punishment for minor crimes, habituating the young to avoid crime altogether, while providing the minimal burden for society. Long term jail sentences are to be avoided at all costs.Their long term drain on the economy is huge, as well as failing as deterrent or as a rehabilitation experience, most often providing an increased standard of living for the lower class criminal and functioning as a graduate school for their criminal knowledge, skills, and network.

When I talk about short and harsh punishments, instead of a year-long sentence in a prison with food, clothes, education, exercise, entertainment, and health care provided, I am talking about one week spent in a small dark box, with only bread and water, released only once a day for 10 minutes to receive a flogging. A week of total immobilization, sensory deprivation, and physical beatings is worth years in our country club prisons, as far as deterrence is concerned, and about infinitely cheaper. Combine that with a new "three strikes" policy, meaning if you come back a third time, you are left in the box, without food and water, until you die.

Why should our prisons be full to the brim, bankrupting our public budgets, with municipal police budgets rising every year, with private security a must for every business, many neighborhoods, and most homes, and we STILL live with the constant environment of fear of violence and theft?

Our current system is broken, totally and completely broken. Nothing could be worse than our current system, which combines unbearably high cost with total ineffectiveness.

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