Police, Courts, and Prisons

Part 11 – Restitution and rehabilitation of criminals

Lee Friday

I recommend reading Parts 1 through 10 before reading this essay

Crime prevention is the key to peaceful societies. The quantity of resources which must be devoted to the pursuit, capture, prosecution, and incarceration of criminals is directly related to our ability, or inability, to prevent crimes from occurring in the first place. In Part 8, we reviewed the superior performance of private security firms as compared to public police departments in the area of crime prevention. The private sector always operates under a different incentive structure than the public sector. Different incentives produce different results.

As to the capture and conviction of criminals, the dismal performance of the public sector (Part 8) is particularly disturbing. Here is a sphere of activity over which the government claims, and coercively enforces, a monopoly for itself. As it fails miserably to deliver the promised services, it continues to extract higher taxes from the citizenry, while forbidding competitors from offering a superior service at a lower price. Given the different incentives, and if allowed to compete, we should expect the private sector to outperform its public counterpart by a significant margin – just as we have seen in the area of crime prevention. If the reader wishes to explore some of the possibilities of how the private sector might approach the task of “capture and conviction”, Benson’s essay (2014)[1] is very informative.

Most people employed in the public and private sectors are decent people. However, when you want something done right, it is not enough to hire good people. You must hire people who are sufficiently incentivized to perform their assigned task. If you have read the previous ten essays, you are familiar with this principle. It is common sense. Thus, the issues of restitution and rehabilitation are best left to the private sector – the competitive marketplace. Freedom of competition creates the incentives to achieve the best possible results. How would private firms approach this task? It is impossible to provide a detailed answer to this question, because nothing in the marketplace can be predicted with precision. However, we can predict the market will respond if the government’s monopoly is repealed, and we can imagine various solutions which might materialize.

As a thought experiment, I will provide an outline of one possible approach as a means of illustrating the creativity of the market. Creative solutions can arise, and will arise, in an environment of open competition. Private firms will fiercely compete to satisfy the demands of consumers, and we can be assured of a latent demand for restitution, rehabilitation, and retribution.

SELECTING  AN  ARBITRATOR

We begin at the point where an individual is in custody, has been accused of an offence, and a victim is identified. An individual who is accused of theft, robbery, or assault must, if found guilty, make restitution to the victim. In the case of murder, the victim is obviously dead; therefore the victim to whom restitution is due is considered to be a surviving spouse, child, parent, or sibling etc. There are other scenarios, but this covers the vast majority of crimes against person and property.

No amount of money can restore a life, replace a lost leg, or eliminate the psychological trauma of aggravated assault. However, in an imperfect world, true justice can be achieved only by enforcing accountability to the fullest possible extent. The first step is to determine guilt, then an appropriate level of restitution. The ‘accused’ and victim will agree on a choice of professional arbitrator. The accused is motivated to come to this agreement because to unreasonably drag out the process of selecting an arbitrator would result in a longer period of incarceration, and the risk that the choice of arbitrator, after a stipulated period of time, will be left solely to the victim. The choice of arbitrator includes an agreement to accept the arbitrator’s decision (alternatively, a panel of three arbitrators may be chosen – one each by the accused and victim, with the third being agreed upon by the first two arbitrators chosen).

This is not a novel idea. Arbitration was commonly used in the middle ages. It is also widely used among business people today, and has been for centuries. Who would qualify to arbitrate these specific issues? That is a decision to be made by the accused and victim, but there will be many candidates – some of those currently involved in corporate arbitration may well have the expertise to fill this role; judges and lawyers (including those who have retired) formerly employed in the public sector who have a reputation for integrity and insightfulness will be prime candidates. The accused and the victim cannot be expected to agree on an arbitrator who does not have these qualities – impartiality is also important. Therefore, that is what the market will produce. Market competition ensures that arbitrators who fail to live up to these standards will find it difficult to attract customers.

ARBITRATION  PROCEEDINGS

A professional arbitrator has been selected, and has determined the accused party to be guilty. The next step is to determine the degree of restitution and retribution. During this stage, depending on the circumstances, the arbitrator may go slightly easier on the offender if he admitted his guilt at the outset. In any event, the offender and victim will present their arguments to the arbitrator. As they make their respective cases, each side will likely give their opinion about a fair level of compensation and punishment, though this would not necessarily be a formal requirement. However, the arbitrator is not obligated to render a decision which matches the recommendation of either party. The victim would explain the extent of harm incurred. The criminal might assert the existence of extenuating circumstances. The arbitrator will consider the evidence and render a decision. Let’s look at some possible examples, without addressing the cost of incarceration, which will be discussed later:

  • Crime – A stole $10,000 from B

Restitution – A must pay $800 to various parties to cover the costs of investigation, apprehension, arbitration, and term of confinement (if applicable) to date

Restitution – A must reimburse B $10,000 plus $500 interest

Retribution – A must pay B $1,500 as penalty for a wrongful act; A will be released immediately if he can afford to pay the total sum of $12,800. Otherwise, A will be incarcerated until the entire sum is paid in full.

Note – under authoritarian law, for the crime of “theft and mischief over $1,000”, the punishment might be 17 hours of confinement and zero restitution from the criminal[2]

 

  • Crime – A rapes B

Restitution – A must pay $25,000 to various parties to cover the costs of investigation, apprehension, arbitration, and term of confinement to date

Restitution – A must pay B $300,000

Retribution – Term of incarceration is (a) until the total sum of $325,000 is paid, and (b) until the age of fifty, and (c) a minimum of fifteen years

Note – under authoritarian law, for the crime of “serious sexual assault”, the punishment might be 9 months of incarceration and zero restitution from the criminal[3]

 

  • Crime – A rapes B, and the arbitrator determines the rapist to be a psychopath

Restitution – same as above, a total of $325,000

Retribution – Permanent incarceration

Note – under authoritarian law, after a period of incarceration, the state frequently releases psychopaths to create more victims (see Part 10), always with zero restitution from the criminal

 

  • Crime – A murders B, premeditated

Restitution – A must pay $31,000 to various parties to cover the costs of investigation, apprehension, arbitration, and term of confinement to date

Restitution – A must pay the spouse of B $900,000

Retribution – Permanent incarceration

In the above examples, do not focus on the dollar figures for restitution. It is the concept of restitution which is important. Criminals must compensate their victims! The dollar figures are invented. They are either too low or too high. The first example is easiest to understand, and the dollar figure would appear logical to most people. But how do you put a price on rape or murder? Can the damage caused by rape and murder be fixed with money, as in the case of theft? Yes and no. Often the damage cannot be completely repaired with money, but money will help (a) if extensive counselling is required, and (b) to offset a financial difficulty if the victim’s ability to earn a living is impaired, and (c) to replace the lost income of a murder victim which created a hardship for the surviving spouse. However, the absence of these three scenarios does not change the fact that the criminal has harmed the victim, and must therefore compensate the victim.

Capital punishment might be an option, perhaps utilized only in situations where both arbitrator and victim agreed, because the victim would be sacrificing restitution payments which she would otherwise receive. Capital punishment might also depend on whether it is consistent with societal norms i.e. is it widely accepted by the people?

Restitution is compensation for harm done. Retribution is punishment. We can be sure that all rape victims, rich or poor, wish for their attackers to be held accountable. The figure of $300,000 for rape is fictitious. Maybe it would be higher. Maybe it would be lower. Rape is a serious crime, and even $50,000 is more than the victim receives from the criminal today. Under authoritarian law, the criminal knows it is extremely unlikely he will be caught, let alone incarcerated (see Part 8). However, in the event a rich criminal today was in fact caught and prosecuted, he could afford to pay $50,000, or more, to his rape victim, if the victim agreed to drop the charges, in turn allowing the criminal to immediately become a free man, free to create new victims.

Even if this monetary payoff is similar to what an arbitrator would have awarded, this was a serious crime and justice demands an extensive period of incarceration, in addition to restitution. Under a system of competitive arbitration, the highest possible level of justice can be achieved, and rich people will be unable to buy off their victims. Both rich and poor criminals alike will compensate their victims and face lengthy incarceration for such offences. That’s justice! Here is more justice – rape today is a vastly underreported crime because victims do not believe their attackers will be held accountable, and in most cases, they are correct. The prospect of restitution will encourage more victims to come forward, putting more bad guys behind bars,[4] thus reducing the number of rape victims which would otherwise be created (and are created today).

The arbitrator’s decision is final. This does not mean restitution will be paid in full, but it does mean criminals will never be released from prison without having paid their debts in full, to the victim, and to the other parties. The term of incarceration must also be completed in full, in all respects. Once again, the arbitrator’s decision is final.[5] There are no early releases for good behaviour and no parole boards, a concept sure to be embraced by many of today’s frustrated judges, whose sentences are constantly reduced by the bureaucracy.

ARBITRATORS  WILL  CONSIDER  A  CRIMINAL’S  AGE  AND  OTHER  CHARACTERISTICS

In the examples above, we see that an arbitrator might stipulate that a criminal shall not be released prior to reaching a certain age. This recognizes the high rate of recidivism[6], as well as the fact that incidents of violent crime are not evenly distributed between the sexes, nor evenly distributed amongst the various age brackets. Males are far more violent than females, and 55 percent of federal felons are between twenty and thirty-four years old. Crime declines rapidly with age.[7] The current high rate of recidivism reflects a bureaucracy which facilitates an environment of drugs and violence in prisons, but it also reflects a commonality among criminals. William Gairdner’s research reveals that:

The typical criminal is . . . of somewhat below-average intelligence, generally has a muscular body, is inarticulate (verbal ability is highly correlated with intelligence), and most telling of all, is extremely impulsive and given to heavy “time-discounting.” In other words, criminals have a very short time horizon. Also, most criminals show signs of trouble very early in life and most have never formed strong emotional attachments . . . Because they are very “present-oriented,” they generally refuse to postpone personal gratification. This trait may be thought of as: “I see it, I want it, I get it” – whether it is a woman, a car, or an item in a store. We should note, however, that this is a calculated impulsiveness, for a criminal who knows he is being watched by the police can easily control his criminal desires (indeed, he sees such strategic control as arch cleverness). What we typically see is an extreme reluctance to plan for the future, and a buck-passing, it-wasn’t-my-fault mentality (reinforced by our therapy orientation). Criminals show a lack of anxiety over the things that generally create anxiety in others, and a complete lack of dependability. Of course, crime suits such individuals very well because it provides a means to short-circuit the normal reward pathways of society that require effort, time, and postponement of gratification. Punishment always seems remote to criminals – because it is. It is the homogeneity of the criminal-personality profile that is so striking, not the variation. Indeed, many criminals have been wholly seduced by crime.[8]

ARBITRATION  TRANSPARENCY

There would be an open record of all arbitration rulings, including the offender’s name, details of the offence (except private victim information), restitution, and retribution. This transparency is in the interest of arbitrators operating in a competitive market, as it allows the public to track their performance and assess their integrity. Those with a reputation for firmness and fairness will have little difficulty attracting business. In contrast, arbitrators who issue too many rulings which are deemed to be unfair from the perspective of either criminal or victim, will soon have no customers, and be forced out of business – thus they are held accountable for their decisions. Conversely, today’s bureaucrats are not held accountable for their decisions – they continue to collect their salaries despite their propensity for insufficient sentences and early release of dangerous criminals.

PRIVATE  PRISONS

Market participants can own and operate prisons far more effectively than the government, and do so at a profit. A few private prisons exist in the U.S. and the concept has been tried in Canada, but this is not the answer to the problem because these prisons are not a product of the market. These companies are the beneficiaries of privatization, which is the outsourcing, or contracting out, of prison services by the government, which means taxpayers are still paying the bill, and cronyism guarantees an inflated bill; and victim compensation is not part of the contract.

A State prison monopoly produces benefits for the bureaucracy by outlawing the benefits of low-price-high-quality market services. The State must sell its prison properties, and if cronyism determines the buyers, at least that will be the end of it; the end of taxpayer support, meaning that private security companies would sink or swim in the market based on their creativity, ingenuity and expertise. The prospect of failure spurs innovation. Some security companies will fare better than others. That’s what happens in the market. Those who struggle from mismanagement or lack of imagination, and are unable to turn things around, will be forced to sell their property to more efficient operators.

Whether a company is well managed or not, it will at all times be highly motivated to safeguard its most important asset, the prisoners. In the absence of the previous monopoly, security would be much tighter than today. An escaped prisoner harms the company’s reputation with the public, thereby reducing the market value of the company, as well as reducing its ability to attract business from arbitrators who will generally assign criminals to well managed security companies.

Prisoners are the most important assets of the private security company because they are its only source of revenue. Prisoners must work for wages to pay off the debts they have incurred. Under our current State-controlled system, some prisoners receive wages for work, but this arrangement is not even remotely market-based, average wages being less than one dollar per hour.

RESTITUTION

A formula, which need not be the same for each prisoner, will be established, indicating how the wages of each prisoner will be allocated. For example, just to illustrate the concept:

(a) 25% allocated to the security company

(b) 40% allocated to reimbursement of costs for investigation, apprehension, arbitration, and the initial term of confinement prior to arbitration

(c) 25% allocated to victim restitution

(d) 10% allocated to the prisoner.

Ten percent for the prisoner is to incentivize him to work, to produce, to pay his debts. It may not seem like much of an incentive, but there are other incentives, to be discussed shortly.

Using the above formula, when the recipients in the (b) group have been fully paid, the allocation for (c) rises to 65%. One more relevant point – when the arbitrator issues his/her ruling, all assets of the criminal will be seized (not to exceed the total amount owed) and liquidated, with the proceeds used to pay off the debts according to a predetermined formula. Any outstanding debts would be paid in accordance with the above formula.

THE  PRISON  ENVIRONMENT

All well and good you might say, but what sort of work will prisoners do, and how do we expect to motivate them to work when we have already acknowledged the unsavoury character of most criminals, which appears to exclude them from the pursuit of honest labour? Most criminals can turn their life around, but this does not mean they will. However, given the proper incentives, many will do just that. Even those permanently incarcerated can be incentivized to be productive workers. First let’s consider some of the features of the current prison environment, to which we give full credit to the State:

  • By and large, all prisoners are treated the same; the same food, clothes, amenities etc.
  • It would seem that the drug problem is to a large degree the result of drugs brought “in the front door” by visitors who are difficult to search properly due to restrictions contained within the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms[9]
  • Violence and rape are endemic

These three problems must be eliminated in order to create an atmosphere conducive to productive work. These issues will be quickly resolved by the market. The market means no government involvement, interference, influence, rules, guidelines, or regulations. Prisoners will be denied many freedoms as a consequence of their offences.

Drugs prescribed for the treatment of genuine health conditions will be allowed, but closely monitored. All other drugs will be banned. This will be detailed in the rulings of arbitrators and strictly enforced by private security companies who have a vested interest in ensuring compliance. What is their vested interest? It is likely that most drug addicted inmates would earn substandard wages, which lowers the revenue, and profits, for the security company. That’s right folks, it’s all about money, as it should be, in a market setting, because that’s what delivers results! If you look closely, you can see the mutual benefit. The security company’s quest for profit is the cause which produces the effect of improving the health of prisoners, by removing from their lives the harmful effects of drugs, thus allowing them to become more productive workers.

Upon release, some of the former inmates will surely revert back to their old ways, but many will have kicked the habit permanently. Keeping drugs out of prison is not difficult for a private company unhampered by the State: (a) security personnel will be subjected to rigorous background checks, and if caught dealing in drugs, will be dismissed on the spot (b) a visitor can be easily accommodated, but physically separated from the prisoner (c) visitors wishing physical contact must submit to an invasive body search, and pay for the privilege (d) if necessary, as a final option, specific visitors, or all visitors, may be banned. Prisoners complaining of unfair treatment will be reminded of the unfair treatment to which they subjected their victims.

Likewise, a private security company will implement policies and procedures to prevent rape and violence, and rest assured the personnel enforcing these rules will be up to the task. It remains to be seen whether prison guards formerly employed by the state would qualify for the job. A few of them might be successful applicants; through no fault of their own, they have been trapped in a system designed to fail.

Prisoners will quickly learn that equal treatment is a thing of the past. The behaviour of a particular prisoner will determine how that prisoner is treated. Treatment will be individualized, as it should be. Those who produce will eat well. Those refusing to work (while able) will be isolated from other prisoners and fed a subpar diet. There will be no risk of starvation, but constant hunger and isolation are powerful motivators. They must earn their keep and pay their debts. Bleeding hearts may put their complaints in writing and will be instructed where to file them.

Having created a healthy, peaceful prison environment, the private security company will have no problem finding work for prisoners, though in this regard its role might best be described as a quasi employment agency.  Although this labour pool, on balance, may not represent the cream of the crop, each prisoner will be employable in some capacity. Furthermore, they are now incentivized to be far more productive than they were prior to incarceration.

Many private companies will eagerly seize the opportunity to set up shop within prisons to take advantage of a new source of labour. Practical considerations and limitations will determine which companies are able to do so profitably, but if unhampered by State regulation, prison labour will most certainly be utilized by the market. The wages of prisoners will tend to be in line with the wages of similarly qualified people in free society (non-prisoners). Within a true free market, this will surely be the case. Any company foolishly attempting to offer below-market-wages to prisoners will be outbid by other companies freely competing in the marketplace.

In fact, it is conceivable that a prisoner might earn slightly higher wages than his equally qualified, but free counterpart. There are at least two possible reasons for this: (a) the prisoner might actually be more productive because he is not subjected to the time and stress of commuting to and from work, as is his free counterpart, and (b) a prisoner whose release is conditional only on fully-paid-restitution will certainly have the motivation to produce more in order to earn more, in order to be released earlier, a powerful incentive unfamiliar to his free counterpart.

Unskilled prisoners can be trained to do something. They are all employable, and those wishing to improve their skills through education (for many, the three r’s) and training in order to increase their wages, will have the opportunity to do so. This will be facilitated either through the employer or the security company, because it will increase profits.

Prison life can be bearable, and even somewhat pleasant, but this will be determined by the efforts of each individual prisoner. Income retained by inmates – ten percent – will increase as their gross earnings increase. They are free to spend their money to purchase goods (except drugs, guns etc.), which increases their personal standard of living. The more money they earn, the more goods they can enjoy. If restitution is fully paid, but a prisoner remains incarcerated, his retained earnings rise from ten percent to seventy-five percent. Thus, even those facing lengthy or permanent incarceration will have an incentive to increase their earnings.

MULTIPLE  SOLUTIONS

As mentioned earlier, the above presentation outlines only one possible method of addressing issues of restitution, retribution, and rehabilitation. If the government were to relinquish control, perhaps this method or some version of it will arise in the marketplace. It is a virtual certainty that the market would provide several solutions, operating simultaneously. The market is not like the government – it will not adopt a one-size-fits-all approach.

Consumer preferences, meaning victim preferences, will be reflected in market-based-solutions. For example, offenders who are not dangerous and do not represent a flight risk, are unlikely to require incarceration. Instead, they may work off their debts in the community, under close supervision if necessary. This reduces the cost of incarceration, which in turn reduces the time required to pay restitution.

The method outlined above was simply intended to illustrate the point that where incarceration is desirable, it can be easily accommodated in the marketplace, with inmates paying the full cost of their own incarceration.

Consider this question: When incarceration is necessary, which prison system is likely to produce a higher percentage of reformed criminals,

(a) a system of rape, violence, and drugs which releases many dangerous offenders back into society, or

(b) a drug-free system of discipline, accountability, restitution, skill development, competitive wages, and peaceful working conditions

Given the opportunity, there is every reason to believe market-based-restitution will be highly successful. This is not a new concept. It was normal practice under medieval customary law (see Parts 2, 3, and 4), but in today’s world of authoritarian law, with the notable exception of Japan (see Part 5), restitution is virtually non-existent. In Canada, courts occasionally order criminals to pay restitution to their victims, but this only happens in about three percent of ‘guilty’ cases[10]. As low as this figure is, we must also remember that ‘guilty’ verdicts are not obtained for most offences involving victims i.e. most crimes are not solved (see Part 8). Thus, restitution is ordered for less than one percent of such offences. Furthermore, enforcement of restitution orders is weak.

Bureaucracies occasionally loosen their grip over the administration of authoritarian law in favour of an approach which bears some of the characteristics of customary law. I am referring to mediation programs, which typically require an authoritarian law bureaucracy to refer a case to the program, and subsequently grant their approval to its outcome. Martin E. Price, J.D., a social worker turned lawyer, turned mediator and peacemaker, is a nationally and internationally recognized pioneer and leader in Restorative Justice and Conflict Resolution. Price tells us:[11]

Of the cases mediated, over 90% result in a restitution agreement and contract. . . . Of the cases in which a restitution contract is signed, over 95% of the contracts are satisfactorily completed within one year of the mediation . . . Studies of court-ordered restitution show 20-30% compliance as typical. The reason for this huge difference in compliance is probably that offenders who make an agreement for restitution feel like it is their agreement. Restitution orders handed down by a court are commonly perceived as more of a punishment than a moral obligation.

Unlike binding arbitration, mediators do not impose decisions. Their role is to facilitate discussions between the two parties. Mediators provide substantial input during these discussions, but final agreements and contracts do not occur without the mutual consent of the two parties. Mediation is a very personal process, in contrast to the impersonal, adversarial process of authoritarian court proceedings. The personal nature of mediation produces positive restitution contracts, but it also appears to produce positive effects on recidivism and rehabilitation. As Price notes:

Newly emerging evidence, still tentative in its scope, suggests that offenders who mediate with their victims are dramatically less likely to return to crime than comparable offenders who have been dealt with in the usual ways. VORPs [Victim Offender Reconciliation Programs] throughout the U.S. report recidivism rates of under 10% for offenders who have been through their programs, as compared to the typical recidivism rates of from 50-85%.

According to Professor John O. Haley of the University of Washington School of Law, various studies now show that wrongdoers, in general, experience distress after committing an offense and respond either by attempting to restore relationships through remorse and restitution, or by seeking to justify their misconduct. These are alternative responses. But the desire to demonstrate remorse, make restitution, and receive forgiveness is commonly the initial reaction that, if not satisfied, leads to justification for the offense. Thus, unless given a chance to express guilt and remorse and receive forgiveness, many offenders will excuse their crime by blaming the victim, the society or someone else. For many offenders, therefore, mediated settlement in criminal cases serves as a correctional process, unlike the prisons we euphemistically call “correctional.”

. . . Repeat crime can be deterred by engendering “victim empathy” in offenders as they are put into contact with the real human consequences of their actions, and by making them accountable to their victims. Nothing else in the criminal justice process has as much potential for diverting beginners from a criminal career.

. . . There is a popular belief that the public wants more punishment for offenders. Of course, it goes without saying that public outcries for more punishment come because, as a society, we don’t know what else to do about our crime problem. VORP research has shown that members of the public want more punishment when they are asked about this issue in the abstract, without names and faces attached. But after crimes have been personalized, names and faces are put on the offenders, and stereotypes about “the monsters who would do things like this” are broken down in a face-to-face encounter with the offender, victims consistently state a preference for less punishment and more meaningful accountability. The key, of course, is that the victim’s fears are fueled by the unknown, and allayed by knowledge about the offender. This reduction in victims’ often disabling fear after being victimized is regularly cited by victims to be one of the most valuable benefits of meeting their offender.

Absent the State’s monopoly of police, courts, and prisons, insurance companies might be major participants in this field of activity, which seems tailor-made for them. As Murray Rothbard wrote, “It seems likely . . . that supplies of police and judicial service would be provided by insurance companies, because it would be to their direct advantage to reduce the amount of crime as much as possible.”[12] Also, From Benson’s essay (2014):

One area of product innovation that others have predicted would result from a shift from publicly provided criminal justice to privately provided victim justice is a dramatic expansion in the role and functions of insurance. . . .

. . . If insurance organizations were able to collect restitution payments from offenders after they pay victims’ claims (i.e., payment means the right to restitution has been transferred to the insurer, who then invests in pursuit and prosecution . . . ), this added source of revenue should allow them to offer more types of insurance against intentionally inflicted harms and property losses at lower rates. As a result, insured victims would be compensated to a degree (determined by the policies chosen) whether offenders are caught or not.

There is likely to be a wide array of policies and insurance/protection/investigative arrangements if the market is allowed to work. . . .

. . . Insurance pools and providers have incentives to reduce offenses, so they might offer protection services either through contracting with specialists or through proprietary security employment, or they might charge lower prices to customers who invest in protection, or both. Pursuit and prosecution of offenders also can serve as a deterrent. Therefore, insurers would have incentives to pursue offenders beyond the desire to collect restitution. A reputation for doing so should deter attacks on their customers. . . . Providers might employ their own investigators, contract with specialized investigators, and/or offer rewards. This means that the fact that a particular offender will not be able or willing to pay restitution does not eliminate incentives for pursuit. . . .[13]

CONCLUSION

What is the real cost of authoritarian law? There are costs imposed on victims which authoritarian bureaucracies do not resolve. There are costs imposed on taxpayers for funding police, court, and prison bureaucracies which usually fail to achieve their stated objectives. There are costs imposed on offenders through incarceration in violent, drug-infested prisons. Such costs are easily understood by most people who take the time to think about the issues.

However, all of these costs, substantial as they are, represent only a small percentage of the total cost of authoritarian law. There are literally thousands of peaceful activities which authoritarian law considers ‘criminal.’ Many of these laws are created to satisfy special interest groups (Part 9). Compliance costs and opportunity costs are generated by these arbitrary laws. These costs are staggering, and they are absorbed by every member of society. We will examine these costs in Part 12.

Go to Part 12

 

[1] Bruce L. Benson Let’s Focus on Victim Justice, Not Criminal Justice (The Independent Review, vol. 19, no. 2, Fall 2014, pp 209 – 238) pp 218-25

[2] William D. Gairdner The Trouble With Canada . . Still! (Key Porter Books Limited, Toronto, 2010) p 360

[3] Ibid.

[4] We should also expect a higher number of false rape accusations because of the prospect of compensation. The onus remains with the alleged victim to provide proof.

[5] The obvious exception is the discovery of new evidence proving the initial “guilty” verdict to be incorrect.

[6] We have seen that psychopaths have a higher rate of recidivism. Nevertheless, we must remember that the rate of recidivism among non-psychopaths is also a concern. On this, see William D. Gairdner The Trouble With Canada . . . Still! (Key Porter Books Limited, Toronto, 2010) pp 344-45

[7] See William D. Gairdner The Trouble With Canada . . . Still! (Key Porter Books Limited, Toronto, 2010) p 342

[8] William D. Gairdner The Trouble With Canada . . . Still! (Key Porter Books Limited, Toronto, 2010) p 342

[9] See William D. Gairdner The Trouble With Canada . . . Still! (Key Porter Books Limited, Toronto, 2010) p 367

[10] Susan McDonald Understanding Restitution (Department of Justice, Victims of Crime Research Digest, Issue No. 2, 2009)

[11] Price, Marty Mediated Civil Compromise – A Tool for Restorative Justice (Oregon Defense Attorney Journal)

[12] Murray N. Rothbard Man, Economy, and State, with Power and Market (Scholar’s Edition, second edition, Ludwig von Mises Institute, Auburn, Alabama, 2009) p 1,052

[13] Bruce L. Benson Let’s Focus on Victim Justice, Not Criminal Justice (The Independent Review, vol. 19, no. 2, Fall 2014, pp 209 – 238) pp 230-32

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