Wednesday, May 4, 2011

cat incentives

Well I would certainly be motivated to behave well in prison by the prospect of a pet cat, but I don't know about most violent criminals!
James also posits a way to reform prisons, which he dubs “violentocracies.” His proposal: smaller facilities that house no more than 24 inmates and are part of a larger, incentives-based system. At a Level 1 prison, for example, you get a lawyer, a Bible, and around-the-clock supervision; at Level 5, a cat and a coffee machine. At Level 10, you can earn a living and come and go with relative ease. The idea, James says, is not only to reduce the paranoia-fueled violence in large prisons but to encourage prisoners to work their way up the ladder.
(Article stolen from MR, which Tyler labels 'interesting', but is really not surprising in the least if your impression of law enforcement is more shaped by real life than by crime-busting TV shows. Bad incentives and lackadaisical/incompetent investigations/trials? Well, of course.)

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