LawDog recently posted a piece advocating the restructure of our penal system. He points out that sentences based on a mandatory duration have nothing to do with the concept of “paying ones debt to society” and proposes a system based on monetary value penalties to be payed off through a government run, compensated work program similar in concept to 19th century British debtor’s prison but applied to infractions of law as opposed to breach of contract.
He points out there are some details which are tough to resolve, saying:
Yes, I know there are some problems with this system. How do you place a monetary value on the suffering of a rape victim or a murder victim is the biggest so far — but I’m pretty sure that something can be worked out.
It is an interesting proposal.