Tuesday, October 25, 2011

On Overcrowded Prisons


  1. Don't read this blog if you are faint of heart or dislike things of slight gore. Or if you have no sense of humor.
  2. Credit for some of these ideas go to my dad (from a conversation we had earlier today).
  3. This blog, as always, is for entertainment purposes only; any resemblance of any persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. If you happen to form a real opinion from this blog, that is entirely your doing. :)
Prison overcrowding is a real issue facing today's governing authorities. This is revealed by numerous reports and sources, and the Supreme Court has ruled that "overcrowded prison systems are unconstitutional" (personally, I don't think that medical care and mental health compromises constitute "cruel and unusual punishment" - that should be reserved for, say, tying prisoners to nail beds under a dripping honey trough in an unfloored dungeon which has a large ant population - that might be cruel and unusual). The solution appears to be "release the prisoners."

Well, my dad's solution is, I think, pretty ingenious, and includes a built-in crime deterrent. Say a prison has a capacity of 100 inmates, and there are currently 100 people incarcerated therein. No, not out loud, I meant "say" as in "suppose," silly reader. Then say suppose one new person is convicted and sentenced to a prison term. Well, that would be 101, and the prison has a capacity of 100. What to do, what to do? Release one? (Whom do you pick for that?) Delay the new prisoner's sentence? ("Oh, don't worry, you won't have to serve your sentence until eleven years from today.")

Nope. Execute the inmate with the longest time in the pen. The one who's been there the longest - not released, just executed. "Oh, you were supposed to be released tomorrow? Sorry, your time just expired... shouldn't have committed that crime!" There's a great crime deterrent - any crime could end up carrying a death penalty if the prison gets overcrowded before you're supposed to be released.

Now, my addition to this is a simple one: instead of electric chairs, or lethal injections, or any other type of execution method, just convert all the prison cells into large microwave ovens. Then, when execution time comes around, no need to walk the prisoner to a new place (he might attack the guards on the way), just flip a switch, wait a few minutes, and then clean out the cell.

But wait: it gets better. That job of cleaning out the cell? Leave that to the next tenant.

Now, some would argue, you have to have all sorts of safety devices and procedures in place for this type of system to make sure you don't flip the wrong switch. I say, baloney. How's this for a deterrent: "Another prisoner was accidentally fried by a guard flipping the wrong switch today; John Doe, who was convicted of jaywalking and serving a three-day sentence, was accidentally executed in place of the mass-murderer Jane Doe, whom authorities caught while she was jaywalking with her anonymously named husband."

Of course, this system isn't perfect (but it may be better than releasing felons prior to serving their complete sentences), but neither are humans.

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