America to Close All Prisons by 2025. Fines Will Replace Incarceration
A well-established precedent in American corporate law is about to be rolled out to citizens
For decades in America, corporations and businesses have enjoyed legal immunity against personal prosecution. The ability of corporate executives to murder, maim, disfigure and mislead the public was tolerated as a necessary evil of business and became punishable through the application of hefty fines levied on the businesses. The purpose of these fines was, and still is, to compensate the injured, the aggrieved, and survivors of whatever transgressions the company had committed.
Unless the company, take Enron as an unfortunate example, happened to rain on the government’s parade, personal accountability was, and remains, an alien concept to corporate America. There are now plans afoot to extend this corporate indemnity to members of the public, retroactively.
In short, America will soon depart radically from the globally accepted principle of a penal system. By 2025, all prisons across the US will close their high-security doors for the last time.
How the plan will work
A two-tiered approach will be adopted. Specially appointed legal panels selected by state governors will assess individual inmates on a case-by-case basis to ascertain appropriate fines. While no exact figures are yet currently available, murder will attract a fine of between $50–100,000 dollars, depending on the nature of the conviction and number of victims.
White-collar criminals will be required to repay a minimum of 5% of the conviction amount to aggrieved parties or the victims of their financial crimes.
At the same time, a newly established court system, no longer dependant on juries, will process new complaints. As defendants are allowed to avail themselves of a tiered discount if they accept liability, proponents of the new policy expect to see huge reductions in processing times. In theory, an individual could be arrested for homicide on a Monday, and be back on the streets as a free man by Wednesday, having acknowledged his mistake and made restitution to the public,
If you were a historic victim of crime and you think you’re about to receive a financial windfall, you may want to hold on before ordering that new flatscreen television.
State-run and private penitentiaries will have first dibs on all fines collected. In what is sure to prove a controversial part of the new legislation, prisons may recover a portion of the costs incurred for housing an inmate. In instances where the prisoner has been a guest of the state for an extended period, families, victims, and survivors may not receive a cent.
Each state may also level an ‘injury tax’ on the funds before they are paid over to victims and survivors. These taxes will vary from state to state and are not currently capped.
Where does this leave poor and impoverished prisoners?
For those unable to pay their own fines, states or federal government will provide the funds via an interest free loan. This part of the legislation is welcomed by many and is seen as a proactive step to insure wealth isn’t a determinant to ensuring freedom. These loans are also seen as a way to address the racial inequalities that resulted in the incarceration of many of the current inmates.
In an off the record discussion, an architect of the new legislation justified the payment of what will in effect be public-funded loans in the following way;
We currently spend billions on providing free legal aid to prospective inmates. The cost of keeping these individuals incarcerated is rapidly becoming unsustainable, so this process will end up actually freeing up funds long term.
How do you arrive at a price for human life?
With a formula, obviously. A closely guarded secret, this formula is apparently based on a massive number of variables and factors and includes some of the following victim information.
- Religious affiliations
- Political affiliations
- Sexual identification
- Tax information
- Criminal record
In possibly the most controversial aspect of this legislation, DNA records, if available, are included. Our emails to various offices on the relevance of DNA in determining the value of human life have gone unanswered. Again, an unarmed source at the newly created Office for Judicial Reassessment (OJR) provided the following insight.
We cannot simply cap all life at a specific value. That would be wrong. A brain surgeon is going to provide far more income over his lifetime than say for instance a janitor. While we don’t suggest one life is better than another we needed a mechanism to evaluate all these elements. We need to view a life as a financial instrument to plug it into our calculations and this process cannot involve emotion. It’s the only fair way of doing it.
Will this be the end of all prisons?
Not immediately. Processing centers will be left in place to hold individuals while their fines are calculated and processed. Individuals settling their fines immediately or in full within a five year period will have any trace of the fine expunged from their public record to prevent discrimination by employers and government agencies.
“Prisons are now seen as archaic and outdated. Our approach to corporate law recognized this decades ago and we shouldn’t punish individuals for what is often simply a mistake. Pay your fine, say you’re sorry and get on with your life. It’s the same pronciples we’ve used to build great businesses in America. Now the public can benefit from the same mindset”
This statement from the recently appointed head of the OJR, Dr. Malcolm Schmuk, emphasizes that the new policy is about strengthening communities rather than isolating individuals.
This article is satire designed to highlight the complete absurdity of institutions and practices within modern-day America. Any new organizations or government agencies and employees referred to above are creations of the author. Part of America Becomes the Onion series (see below)
America becomes The Onion
A new satyrical tongue-in-cheek series designed to highlight injustice in broken America, exposing the current trend toward a total lack of accountability.
In this article we’ve dealt with the lack of accountability enjoyed by a rapidly increasing demographic of the American population, spawned by corporations and corporate greed and individuals who exist above the rule of law, those who evade any form of accountability for their actions. What now seems like insanity may already be under discussion somewhere in underground bunker below Trump Towers. We just aren’t sure anymore. Thanks, Twitter, that was our only news feed.