Massive Open Online Prisons–A Solution for Incarceration Overload?


In an April Fool’s Day offering, the Washington Monthly reports that California Gov. Jerry Brown announced a major corrections reform: an online prison system that will save the state billions and reduce recidivism. Under Massive Open Online Prisons (or MOOPs), incarcerated Californians will be imprisoned from the comfort of their own homes. They will log on every hour with the state and enjoy one hour each day to walk around their own yards. Ankle bracelets will ensure that they do not stray beyond 30 yards of their houses or apartments. There is reason to hope that the online prison system is a positive development, says Erin Kane of the Cornell Center for Prison Reform: MOOPs will free prison guards from the drudgery of repetitive monitoring. Technology can record online prisoners' every mouse click, which promises to transform incarceration research by generating data that could improve corrections in the future. “We can have microanalytics on every website, every computer game, right down to what media each prisoner prefers,” says Kane.

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