Justifying Imprisonment: On the Optimality of Excessively Costly Punishment
The criminal punishment literature has focused on justifying nonmaximal punishments and the use of nonmonetary sanctions. It has not addressed why imprisonment, rather than cheaper forms of corporal punishment, should be the dominant type of nonmonetary sanctions. David Friedman (1999) recently hypothesized that, because convicts lack political influence, it is desirable to make punishment costlier than necessary to prevent policy makers from excessively punishing convicts. This article explicitly models this hypothesis and uses simulations to determine under what circumstances this hypothesis justifies using imprisonment rather than cheaper nonmonetary sanctions. Copyright 2003, Oxford University Press.
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Volume (Year): 5 (2003)
Issue (Month): 2 (August)
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