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If you have made up a new world for your novel, how do they deal with crime and punishment?

The prison service have recently opened a restaurant in Wales, staffed by low-risk convicts.  The restaurant is quite posh, but the convicts are only earning £12 per week.  Not a lot, but is it fair?

They are gaining experience and qualifications out of it; some people pay to gain those.  They have, essentially, free room and board, since they are living at the prison.  And, they are supposed to be being punished.

On the other hand, are they taking jobs from the fine, upstanding, normal folk?  That seems to be the main objection to the scheme.

Anyway, back to the point.

Some cultures go for locking offenders away, some for public whippings, some for execution.  Some go for more financial punishments, or mind control.  Some go for incentives to prevent crime and corruption.  I read a book once where the financial estate of those chosen as leader of the country was blended with the state monies, and they got the same proportion back at the end of their term.  Good incentive to help the country’s economy!

Whatever method is chosen, there are consequences.  If you lock offenders up you need to  pay for their upkeep, and have the risk that they might revolt.  Mind control has moral implications.  Using incentives requires a plan for when they fail.

How well thought through is your legal system?

The Author

Nicola Higgins is a 30-something martial artist who runs two Brownie packs and works full time. She somehow still finds time to write.

Her favourite genres are near-future and alternate world science fiction and fantasy.

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