The Economics Of Snitching

December 16, 2012 in Daily Bulletin, Signature

Markets are alive and well in the prisons of the United States writes Brad Heath:

  • In the United States it is possible for prisoners to get reduced sentences in exchange for information about other criminals.
  • This has led to entrepreneurs in prisons using their contacts outside the jail to gather valuable information and then sell it to other prisoners looking to commute their sentences.
  • Last year half the defendants who cooperated and offered information saw their sentences reduced by 50% or more.
  • An interested buyer can purchase the information for anywhere between $5,000 and $250,000, depending on the type and source.
  • This market means that it is possible for richer inmates to buy their way to shorter sentences.

Read more about the people who thought up the scheme, those who defend it, those who are trying to end it, and find some fascinating infographics over here.

Source: USA Today

Via: Marginal Revolution