What are non-prison approaches to punishment? Well, if you think about it hard enough, there’s actually quite a number of ways the state can deal with criminals.
First, it can use chemical imprisonment. This makes a lot of people uncomfortable, but the great thing about this is that there is no warehousing of people. They are freely mixing in the general population but chemically speaking, they are not in control of their bodies because the state has rights over their bodies.
Now, some people would say that this is worse than prison because you are physically intruding into the body or biochemistry of a person. However, it does address the punishment component of any penile system.
If you commit a crime, there has to be consequence; otherwise, people would do that crime and you would do that crime as well. You would repeat and repeat it and the society suffers as a whole. As a result, society steps in and imposes a punishment.
This chemical form of punishment is not very different from forced contraception for certain lawbreakers. Forced contraception is practiced routinely in certain parts of the United States. The same applies to forced sterilization in the form of forced chemical castration.
For example, people who rape children in certain jurisdictions and in certain contexts are given the choice of chemical castration. The idea is when they get chemically castrated, these offenders will be less likely to repeat their crimes because the chemical impulses produced by their hormones are no longer there or are greatly diminished.
This is not a random idea. This is not just out of the blue but, of course, there is the issue of bodily control. You are the owner of your body, and you should have a say in the chemicals into your body against your will.
The problem with this, however, is that this evades the whole concept of punishment. The state steps in to punish you, and you do not have a say in it because you have given up that right when you committed the crime. This is an option.
Another option is electronic imprisonment. In other words, you have some sort electric shock collar or some sort of device on your ankle that you cannot easily take off. You are then constrained to a certain space.
The big problem this solves is that when you’re confined to home arrest or home imprisonment, you’re obviously not sharing the same space as rapists, killers, murderers, drug dealers. Instead, you’re in your own home. This is one of the most humane ways to imprison people so as to minimize the normal negative effects of traditional imprisonment. Whichever option you believe we should take, you would agree that the current system is broken and needs to be replaced.
Another possible solution is life retraining. Located in a remote location and populated only by other fellow retrainees as well as retraining center personnel, these centers immerse individuals in a wide range of life training courses that are gamified and geared towards producing results. Individuals are retrained to make better decisions, adopt better values, and otherwise transform themselves in a non-oppressive self-paced environment that enables people from all walks of life to overcome their earlier life programming.