Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Clever criminals

Over at Marginal Revolution, Alex Tabarrok quotes a letter from an inmate:

[Inmate:] A privately owned and publicly traded company like CCA has no incentive to rehabilitate criminals.  It is in the best interests of the company for even more criminals to exist.  Unfortunately, the same is true of government run prisons.  And contrary to what you may have been told, prisoners are not paroled because they have indicated by their actions or behaviors while inside that they are less likely to reoffend; they are let go because the Parole Boards believe that will commit another crime.  This way the prison lobbyists can then “prove” that parole doesn’t work.  The Department of Corrections gets less money from paroled prisoners than it does for those kept inside.  And also, “good” inmates are less trouble (less labor) than the trouble-makers, and so trouble-makers get released.

[Alex:] Good analysis.  I hope, however, that he does not test his theory on how to gain early release.

Alex did not elaborate, but it seems to me that this fellow is clever, insightful, and may well be a fine person to get released. Not knowing why he’s in prison, I hope he does test his theory, and that he shares with us the results. All in the name of science.

One comment on "Clever criminals"

  • Releasing Criminals

    Emergent Chaos: Clever criminals I’ve discovered my old friend Adam Shostack now has a blog. In it he links to a post at Marginal Revolution, discussing a prisoner who wrote to Alex. Adam claims that it may be a good…

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