posted ago by bluewhiteandred ago by bluewhiteandred +5 / -0

Someone argued that private prisons have an incentive to enslave people and that it would be bad for there to be private prisons under anarcho-capitalism

Others have argued that private prisons would be rarer and crime might be more in fines or other ways of making restitution rather than prison times

What problems exist with the idea of private prisons and what solutions do you suggest to these objections?

Comments (8)
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defiant_liberty 2 points ago +2 / -0

Currently the private prison system is so in bed with the state, it's hard to really call it private. I think for private prison to really work, it needs to be linked to private justice. If your judge works for a justice company, and that company is going to have to pay a pretty penny to incarcerate somebody, then there will exist an extremely strong incentive to not over punish, while at the same time, if they don't punish enough, people won't subscribe to them.

Elrond_Hubbard 2 points ago +2 / -0

I don't think prisons would be practical in a stateless society. You really want to pay $500 a month to get back at some guy who stole your car? Or would you rather just have him give you the car back and pay some compensation?

Or let's say someone murdered your spouse. You want to pay money for the rest of his life to get back at him? More likely, you want compensation.

I think Friedmans conception of how security firms could replace the current justice system is the most realistic.

bluewhiteandred [S] 1 point ago +1 / -0

What if they pay for their own imprisonment

Elrond_Hubbard 2 points ago +2 / -0

That would be tough because you would have to keep them productive which isn't imprisonment anymore, that's just slavery or indentured servitude.

And again, according to Friedmans conception in Machinery of Freedom, people would most likely choose security firms that don't practice imprisonment or slavery.

based_biker 1 point ago +1 / -0

I fully agree with Hubbard here, prisons are a VERY ineffective and unfair method of handling criminal activity. They are 100% a product of statism and actually breed crime rather than stop it.

Assassin47 2 points ago +2 / -0

Under an ideal AnCap paradigm you can't enslave someone against their will. People only go to a prison of their choice as part of an agreement to fulfil a contract as a condition to be allowed back into polite society. (living in some territory, or doing business with certain groups, whoever have come up with such a pact)

Of course we can argue whether that's realistic, and what would constitute unlawful imprisonment under the NAP vs. what would be enforceable, but no government is perfect. (I say government because IMO AnCap is still a loosely governed form of state without the trappings of a state.)

Since most people don't like prison, you're correct that fines and other restitution would be more common.

We really don't know how well private prisons would or wouldn't work, because we don't have any fully private prisons. They are all incentivized or regulated by the state. Maybe there are some historical examples.

bluewhiteandred [S] 2 points ago +2 / -0

Under an ideal AnCap paradigm you can't enslave someone against their will.

I guess, but I also think it's possible most people in society will agree that prison is a justified punishment for certain crimes and hence most people will consent to this being the punishment (at least temporarily). I could envision our current system becoming ancap and basically they keep prison sentences that most people consent to because it's just how crime is dealt with somewhat effectively right now.

(I say government because IMO AnCap is still a loosely governed form of state without the trappings of a state.)

I made a post calling it an "UnState" I think. To me it's basically a State, just not centralized (a "decentralized State"?). Anyway, I much think I agree with you here on this, regardless of what words we use to describe it, it's a kind of government but not.

DeutscheWeeb 1 point ago +1 / -0

Prisons are a problem and I don't think they would exist in a stateless society