by Alex Tabarrok
on April 29, 2007 at 10:08 am
Upgrade to a 5-star jail.
One one hand, I feel the law has generally been extended beyond its Constitutional limits- many of the crimes punishable by time served in a 5-star jail probably shouldn’t be enforced anyway.
But on the other hand, the law’s intent needs to be fully enforced. Otherwise, why bother calling it illegal? I enjoy the Colonial practice of publicly shaming criminals. Humiliation serves as a great incentive. What humiliation is there in sneaking into jail through the back door on weeknights after work?
TGGP: The article you link to says that turning 18 has no effect on an individual’s propensity to commit crime. Interesting, to be sure, but not at all conclusive about whether the deterrence effect is real in general.
My main complaint about this NY Times article is that it tip-toes around the real issue, which is that the demographic that typically pays for an “upgrade” in jail conditions — 30-something white male middle class drunk drivers, according to the article — is exactly the same demographic that is at high risk of being raped or brutalized while in jail or prison. Many of these people would probably be willing to pay a lot more than $100 per night to avoid being tossed in the general population with psychopaths and gangsters.
Sure, it offends notions of egalitarian justice for people to pay to improve the conditions of their punishment, but the other side is that many big-city jails have no business existing as they do in a civilized society.
If only California were more blue, this sort of BS wouldn’t be allowed.
I would pay $81 too. But what about people who did the same thing as you, but can’t afford the $81. Are they deserving of a “possible death sentence”???
We supposedly live in a society where you should take responsibility for your actions and should suffer the consequences of your bad decisions. This is especially preached by those with more money. But isn’t it funny that whenever those with money do something really stupid (i.e getting a DUI) they get to buy themselves out of the bad consequences of their bad decisions? I guess personal responsibility flies out the window when it means holding yourself accountable, as opposed to preaching about morally lackluster others.
I saw that over the weekend too, quite odd. I’m not entirely sure what I think of it, but my gut reaction is that it’s bad.
I have a very favoriable opinion of this program, it sounds like they are working out some problmes (ie what can be allowed in) but it sounds as though they are goining about it in a responsible way. I would even take it a step further, pay to reduce sentence. In this society, hitting people in the bank account gets the point across effectively.
My only real concern is that municipalities may decide not to even try to improve their normal jails, to compel more and more offenders to pay for the “5 star jails.” That is a real danger that must be guarded against.
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