Yes indeed, this is getting a bit off my beaten path, but is surely related in a different way. This issue has churned around in the back of my little head for some years now, and now I guess it’s time.
The trigger was reading that the USA has 5% of it’s population in prison, and that is the highest percentage of any country in this whole WORLD! (so this is a “free country”, huh?)
Five percent of 330-some million people, geez, that 16,5 million prisoners in our “free country”! All those prisoners cost the remainder of we “free” citizens $30,000 each per year. My calculator doesn’t have enough digits to compute the total, but it’s humungous!
My purpose here was not to look at the reasons for so many being in jail, that would be for another post another day, and will take some further research, as have all my writings here. But “crimes without victims” certainly do count up. Now I’m not into drugs, but both drug-dealers and drug users are many amongst those filling our jails to overflowing. I don’t see the users as “criminals”, and they should not be in jail. However, I also disagree with the bleeding hearts that we have some responsibility for the rehab of drug-users. Drug users are responsible unto themselves for the consequences of their own choices. If those are minors, their parents are responsible; the taxpayers are not.
But back to my purpose. Obviously the total number of real criminals is much smaller, and eliminating those convicted of crimes without victims would help alleviate the burden. Surely there are others who don’t belong in prison, but that still leave a huge prison population. Why do the bleeding hearts prevail, protecting the criminals who have been so violent or stealing from the good citizens? So how to we refuse to support the baddies and zero the bill?
Whatever I should choose to say from here on is largely brainstorming. I’d doing this because we need solutions based on freedom, and we need to have ideas on the table from which to build solutions. So we need some fresh perspective, because what we’re doing does not work, it does not reform, and does not rehabilitate, so those are bad ideas we need to abandon.
Question 1: Does the criminal owe a penalty to “the State”, or rather, to his victims? Can we turn the criminal over to his victims, and let them determine the penalty, and to own the criminal’s life until the debt be repaid? Of course we can, and I believe we should.
Question 2: Should the criminal, once convicted, be held responsible for the value of damages he caused, or the life he took, or the cost of his trial? Of course he should.
Question 3: Are we (the ‘public’) responsible in any way for the care and feeding of criminals or for the welfare of criminals? Do you have the guts and honesty to answer NO?
So do we build them prisons, and furnish utilities and guards and food and libraries and food? Of course we don’t. All we need do is prevent those criminals, who possess traits dangerous to others, from disappearing back into private society to repeat their dastardly deeds.
As we get from history, Australia was populated by England shipping it’s criminals there, dropping them off the boat, and leaving them to fend for themselves. Have you noticed that Australia has evolved into a fine upstanding country and neighbor despite the genetic origins of it’s citizenry? To a lesser extent, early American immigrant settlers included many of the same, from England as well as escapees from Germany, Ireland, Spain, France and other countries. Nobody shouldered the burden for these emigrants. It became necessary for them to find some niche in their new society where they might survive, and learn the necessary social skills and honor by which they could be acceptable to their new neighbors, and go forth and multiply, and prosper under newfound freedoms. Of course many would have failed in many different ways; probably they did not survive, usually because they were unable to adapt to a moral social structure. Those are not amongst the heroes of history, neither memorable nor remembered for anything of value.
Such islands today are not available, we can only designate a space where the criminals may park and strive to survive and to heal. They must pay for the space they occupy, and paying for any of the services provided from outside their environment. Both the Federal and State governments have huge holdings of such land; there is no shortages of land which might render this unfeasible. If they wish to escape the sun or the snow or the wind, they can and must build their hut or cave as they see fit, and cooperate with others of their kind to create a social order in which they might survive progress. They can do all these things only by producing within the free market, trading for goods and services, and learning how to survive and prosper by being responsible for themselves and cooperating with their fellowmen. Their refusal or failure to learn these necessary moral postures might result in their death, but that would be of their own choosing, and is a social responsibility of anyone not directly involved.
At some point I may come back to this page to fine-tune and/or elaborate, but for now I want to publish this and get some action or reaction, either way. We are all feeling our way on this issue. Thank you.