[LMB] Crime and Punishment

Damien Sullivan phoenix at mindstalk.net
Sun Apr 10 03:54:41 BST 2016

On Fri, Apr 08, 2016 at 06:57:58PM -0600, William A Wenrich wrote:
> We see at least three modes of criminal "justice" (scare quotes intentional)
> in the nexus. 
> Beta has gone completely to the medical mode with the Mental Health Board in
> charge. You don't need to be an advocate of Dark Beta to notice that at
> least one character (drunk at the time) considered a spectacular suicide
> rather than letting the M.H.B. getting a hold of him and turning him into a
> perpetual smiler.

Drunk *and* drugged: he'd been chugging "creme de meth" while depressed.

And I think the MHB wanted him only *because* he'd been threatening a
spectacular and dangerous suicide.

> What does the list think about the different systems? We don't know how to
> emulate Beta Colony. Our current systems (I'm mostly thinking of the
> Anglosphere, Europe, the Americas and Japan.) leave a lot to be desired.

We don't know how to emulate the medical rehab part of Beta Colony.  Nor
the fast-penta lie detection, and they probably have more ubiquitous
surveillance available.  But they provide for everyone's food, medical,
and education needs, and likely pursure full employment policies as
well; those are things we could do.  Given the creme de meth, it's
possible recreational drugs are fairly legal, which would remove a major
black market.  We know prostitution is too, ditto.  So all that removes
a lot of 'need' and incentive to pursue crime.

Of course, a corollary of that might be that your remaining criminals
are pretty hardcore and hard to treat.

"Europe" isn't just one system.  Norway in particular stands out for
humane treatment of prisoners, who get their own prison rooms (which
look more like college dorms than cages) and halfway house
rehabilitation communities for good-behavior prisoners nearing the end
of their terms.  Norway also has no sentences longer than 21 years -- no
life terms, let alone life without parole -- though there's an option to
hold prisoners judged to be an ongoing threat, as may happen to Breivik.

-xx- Damien X-) 

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