If we assure mobility and a competitive gross wage, then the effort expended by the convict is directly rewarded with a shorter period of confinement or probation. He would have an objective yard-stick by which he could measure his progress. The present parole system administered by often corrupt, bigoted, or politically minded minor bureaucrats would finally be put to death. Prisoner morale would improve, making eventual rehabilitation easier.Similar to my own thoughts on the matter, but this is from 1972. !
As an extension of this point, the convict would be shown directly the value of education. If he committed his particular offense primarily because he had no trade, he will find it to his advantage to learn one. The penal agency may supply education on a profit-making basis, or allow profit-seeking educators to do business within their walls. Thus the convict would have a better chance of returning to a normal life when he regains his freedom.
The penal colony would also generally continue employment of the convict after he has retired his debt. It would be foolish to in effect fire a worker with experience simply because he has now regained his freedom. He will still remain employed by the penal agency but will become free of security restrictions and will be an ordinary worker. Indeed, an agency which does provide employment for 'graduated' convicts would have a strong competitive edge in the recruitment process.
The convict will have a direct incentive to exhibit good behavior. The better risk he appears to the penal agency, the more likely he is to be allowed parole or other freedoms in the interest of increasing his productivity. Good behavior will be rewarded monetarily also, reflecting such declines in marginal cost of security provision as reduced wear and depreciation of guards.
Finally, the agency would be responsive to the demands of the convicts, for they are mobile employees, and not literally prisoners. Thus, with whatever net wage they keep after making their agreed-upon payment to the penal agency or defense company, the convict would be allowed to purchase goods from the non-prison main economy, subject naturally to security constraints, thereby eliminating the current extortion and black marketeering rampant in our prisons. Visitors and mail would no longer be arbitrarily cut off. Conjugal visits, or in some cases the moving of one's family into the prison, would be allowed. Our analog to prison would not be, as today, a brutal institution primarily functioning to teach brutes how to be more brutish, but would become almost a treatment center, a place to learn how to live peaceably in outside society. Our present system only teaches a person how to live in prison.
Where Will Anarchists Keep the Madmen?
Actually, the question about the madmen is not really answered, unless you identify them with criminals. But this article by John Sneed is worth the time, laying out the structure of anarchic law and order as many have seen it. Here's Sneed on the advantages of anarchic "prisons" over state-run prisons: