The problem with the prison system in America is that it is often more comfortable in jail than it is in the real world. I would change that dramatically. At least I would for violent criminals. My own kids grew up with more kids in one bedroom than our State allows prisoners in one room. They also have better medical care than I have and they eat better than the average American does. And tell me why a prisoner needs to have cable TV, cigarettes, coffee, sex changes and fully equipped gymnasiums all paid for by me? Here is how I would do it.
1) If you committed first degree murder then you are executed. Not twenty years later but within the next year or two. No chance of a second offense or a prison escape if the guy is dead. This isn't revenge or an eye for an eye or anything like that, it is just removing a guy from society who has demonstrated that he shouldn't be there.
2) If you committed a non-violent crime like fraud or embezzlement or something like that then you are equipped with an ankle bracelet and you stay at home. If you have a job then you go to your job everyday but you must follow a schedule and if you leave your home or your work place during the hours you are supposed to be there then you are sent to be with the violent criminals. If you don't have a job then you live off the same welfare system that I described in my previous blog on welfare.
3) Out on the extreme end of the Aleutian chain of islands is a military base. I don't know if it is Air force or Naval but I figure they must be bored and need something to do. Once a person has been convicted of a violent crime such as rape, assault or armed robbery then I would drop them off on one of the nearby islands. I would give them regular supplies so they don't starve to death and I suppose I would build them shelters but for the most part they would be on their own. If they're still around when their sentence is up I would come and get them. The near by air force base would keep regular radar surveillance of the island and if any unidentified or unauthorized planes or boats came around they would give them fair warning but if they ignored the warning they would be shot down.
4) Juvenile delinquents would not be sent off to the prison island because I would like to think that with a proper chance they could become contributing members of society. I am a firm believer that the best way to make sure that happens is to give them a good education. If a juvenile commits a serious crime then I would not allow them out of jail until he has graduated from High School, maybe even graduate from college.
I think with a prison system like this it would cost less money and it would be a much more effective deterrent. Unfortunately I'm quite sure no one would go for it.