Restitution or Jail?

Is restitution to victims better for society than jail sentences for criminals?

One could say that restitution is better for society. It accommodates the victim, who normally does not get compensated in the least because the money goes to the government. It allows the “bad guy” to work off his debt and bad name in a protected workplace. But does it really work better than our modern jail system?

Craig Badguy robs Bob Goodguy. Police catch Badguy and put him in a camp where he can work to pay off Goodguy. Badguy, although counseled, secretly plots revenge and robs another man soon after he serves his time in the prison camp. Prison camp wasn’t so bad! A minor flaw in restitution, that.

Joe Badguy robs Dean Goodguy. Police catch Badguy and throw him in jail to fulfill his years-long sentence. He sweats it out in jail……HOW MUCH LONGER, LORD???? He gets out and decides to reform a little. Jail definitely wasn’t worth it. Of course, there are criminals who don’t reform. Those usually get life sentences. But……what about the victim? He doesn’t get paid!

There are flaws in both systems. Our current jail system works pretty well, as long as people get jailed. I have a feeling restitution wouldn’t work so well.

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