The definition of crime is culturally subjective. This subjectivity used to help us define law and punishment in a more rational manner in the past. Today, this subjectivity placed against pacing time and increasing globalization is not easy to rationalize anymore.
We see this in many walks of life where assets like gold which used to be the driving force of an economy. Where trade and even countries were valued based on how much gold reserves they had in the past. In today’s context, trade depends on technology and the currency here is information. The millions of gigabytes of data that flow over the internet fuels the economy today. Where stealing gold is deemed a crime and is identified by everyone as a crime. But when it comes to information, all the applications, internet service providers, devices like Alexa and corporations are running on this data.
People who never committed crimes before are tempted when they learn how easy it is to fake someone’s identification by stealing passwords or fraud with someone on the web by impersonation, without ever having to confront a victim face-to-face. And that’s why we see this news of data leaks and ransomware hacks that take over personal data very often these days. Many of these crimes go unreported or even do not pass the qualification of being a crime. In fact, their evasion from these crimes in the form of bail is cheaper than the prior forms of crime.
In a world of ever-growing dimensions of crime, the law is pushing back in finding patterns and new ways to track/identify/persuade/reduce crime. However, what is not keeping up is the infrastructure to punish/rehabilitate/imprison such criminals.
The prisons which exist today are designed for containing criminals who are disrupting the society in the physical realm. These involve identifiable offenses that happen like murder, theft, robbery, vandalism, etc. that involve a perpetrator to use bare hands and can be seen. But what about criminals who are disrupting our societies of tomorrow which are based on the web? Are prisons of today cannot be used for them?
Brief: Design a model prison building for 500 prisoners, for perpetrators who are sentenced for serving crimes that are non-physical/cyber/online in nature in the context of the present and coming future.