There must be an emphasis on the reduction of crime. Guaranteed employment and prison reform are key elements of this crime reduction.
The general prison policy could be that punishment and determent of crime could be units of contributory work rather than time spent deprived of personal freedom.
Thus instead of a person going to jail for 10 years, he could be sentenced to the equivilant of 10 years of contributory work and education. The prisoner could be paid a market value for his work and then all the costs of maintaining him – health, food, heat, and so on – could be deducted from his pay. Also restitution and child support could be deducted from his salary.
The problem with the current method of punishment is that, for many convicts, jail is not a punishment nor a deterrant!! They get food, shelter, and health care. They have a social life, they get entertainment, and they can go to school. Often they are safer in jail than on the streets.
A bigger punishment and a bigger deterrent for a career criminal would be to have to work, to contribute to society, and to get authentic education.
The sad truth about our prison system is that they have become male welfare hotels. A person commits a crime, especially one of drug dealing, and the state takes care of him for a period of time. Often for the career criminal, the state takes care of him for the rest of his life, whether he is in jail or out of jail. Often the state finances the raising of his children, and even allows him to impregnate women while in jail, after which the state picks up the bill for raising the child.
A dirty little secret about most career criminals is that they often unable to care for themselves. They cannot maintain a job and a home. They must take the produce of others and/or make the state support them. And certainly these criminals rarely can get a job in a competitive job market. It would be an interesting study to see what the average IQ and the average education was of today’s prison population.
Sentencing a person to many years in jail, who is unable or unwilling to support himself may be, unconsciously, exactly what the criminal wants.
There could also be two kinds of prisons and jails: The first prison could be for prisoners who sign a conract that they will obey the laws of the land and the rules of the prisons. These rules could include a code of behavior and a code of etiquette. These codes could include such behavior as : 1) treating employees and fellow prisoners with respect; 2) no profanity in public places; 3) no pornography displayed; 4) no gang involvement; 5) no drugs; 6) subordination to prison authorities; and 7) no violence (no returning violence for violence – he can only report the act of violence and use self-defence (which could be taught).
The other prison could be for those prisoners who refuse to sigh a contract or refuse to abide by the contract once signed.
The first kind of prison could have maximum amount of freedom and opportunity. The second kind of prison could be the least expensive, have the least amount of rights and freedoms, and have the least amount of luxuries. The prisoner could be deprived of the maximum amount of the benefits of society since he was committed to not contributing to the society.