Idea alert

In the midst of ruminating on a number of fronts, Conrad Black proposes prison reform.

Having recently inexplicably spent 29 months in one of the kindest and gentlest of American federal prisons, I must emphasize that imprisonment is an insane, archaic and self-defeating treatment of non-violent offenders (especially when many other convicted people are in fact, by the nature of the system, as innocent as I). Apart from those with a propensity to violence, and those who have committed other crimes on a Madoff-scale, felons should receive a government insurance bond for their employers, and contribute work to society pro bono but with, where their circumstances require it, basic non-custodial shelter and meal vouchers, and treatment for substance abuse. Recidivists would have to be confined, but in prison or workshop facilities. Disused prison facilities could then be spruced up and reconfigured as housing for the indigent.

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