Re: LEGAL: Alternatives to imprisonment

Michael Lorrey (
Wed, 03 Mar 1999 23:02:12 -0500 wrote:

> Thought it might be helpful in our discussion of the Alternatives to
> imprisonment if I listed some of the goals that I could think of as having
> been advanced as important in penalties for crime.
> Goals of Punishment
> - Justice/Fairness
> - Reparation
> - Revenge
> - Rehabilitation/Redemption
> - Inducing Regret
> - Preventing Future crime by Offender
> - Deterrent to Others
> If anyone can think of others, please let me know.

The primary purpose is that it separates the individual who has demonstrated a disregard for others rights from the society which respects those rights. We can no longer deport these people to prison colonies, and they cannot flee to the fronteirs or be forced into the army to serve on the fronteir, so they get put into 'storage'.

Piers Anthony's _Ring_ novel is a good depiction of an alternative to imprisonment. Convicts get a ring installed on their fingers that is embedded to the bone. It monitors the convicts thoughts, giving varying levels of pain for various thoughts and immobilizing pain when 'illegal' actions are taken. The conundrum in the novel is that the rings are programmed by someone with a very puritanical and severe idea of right and wrong, so there tends to be a very severe period of adjustment that a convict goes through, and sometimes does not survive.

   Michael Lorrey, President
                        Lorrey Systems
"A society which trades freedom for some measure of security
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