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I think all non-ultra-violent crimes, rather, punishments, shoudl be assigned a dollar value.  When you serve your sentence, you are put in jail, where you perform some kind of duty.  You get "paid" for that duty, just like you had a job, but your duty is not something you get to choose.  Your check would go towards the following things, in order:

  1. Pay for your own room and board
  2. Pay for your criminal fine
  3. Pay for your civil fine

For instance.  Say I decided to carjack Koji.  In the process, I destroy his car, break his arm, mess up some guard rails, then get caught.  When found guilty, I would get the following fines:

  • Carjacking (criminal) - $10,000
  • Destruction of property (criminal) - $5,000
  • Destruction of property (civil) - $25,000
  • Pain and suffering/hospital bills (civil) - $20,000

Plus, it costs $20,000 per year to house me in prison.  (Note that is way less that current estimates (it's, more like 40k), but with some reform, who knows...).

Then, when in prison, they put me to work, hard work, 12 hour days, in a prison factory.  I get paid $25,000 anually.  And of course, there are incentives, just like any other job, to work better or faster, or just more, to recieve bonusses.  Right off the top, 20k would go right back to the prison to pay for my room and board, and the remaining 5k (plus any bonus) would be applied to my criminal fine until it was paid off, then to my civil fine.  Once everything is paid off, I get out.  I'd be out in 12 years and all dues would be paid.

In the end, Koji would get a new car plus 20k for bills and whatnot, the guardrails would get fixed, and the government would take in a $10,000 fine.  Also, I will have helped build 12 years worth of whatnots in the factory to pay for it all.  Hell, you could even tack on $2000 in court fees (criminal fine) and whatever other costs are incurred in the capture and processing of my carjacking ass.

Sure, there are but what about's to be asked, but it seem slike a good starting point to me.



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