A polemic: the way to address the situation we have with prisoners.

Some people go to prison and are reformed and put off further crimes. Others however are in and out time and time again. The main philosophical aim is to ensure that they do not commit further crimes. Doing the time and then being free, free to reoffend is not my idea of protecting the law abiding citizens. Some maybe unlikely to be repeat offenders as the circumstances that arose to provoke the crime may not re-emerge. Others see criminal pathways as the only way to set forth.

Why not try and kill two birds with one stone. Get them to sort and recycle the nationís rubbish. From sorting the plastic to dismantling electrical goods. You could even pay them a micro amount so that they have some funds when they get out. It can be done slowly and methodically, extracting much more than what workers standing in front of a fast moving conveyor can achieve.

In order for this to work it requires them to have an incentive. If they work they can get released early. At present prisoners are released after serving say 3 years of a 5 year sentence. If they refuse to work then they will not get out any time before the 5 years are up.

The scheme does many things; it gets offenders used to working every day. It provides an incentive to behave. Only the cooperative convicts will get the chance of an early release. The added bonus is that it reduces the mountains of waste that goes to landfill which is difficult to recycle cost effectively.

Those that are unwilling to work will be in prison for longer and would cost more. Yet we ignore the costs of keeping them outside of prison, the expense of housing in the community and benefits is not to be underestimated. It is not a choice of a lot of money inside prison and zero outside.


Since writing this, I have become aware that this is far from an original idea. Many countries do get prisoners to work and allow early release for those that co-operate.


I was asked my thoughts on the subject of dealing with the worst criminals by means of execution; I see execution is a waste of a resource, better to make use of them one way or another.

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