What rules would you inforce to have total control of Slearth inmates? What privileges would you give the inmates of Slearth to keep them at ease? Would you just enforce medication to all Slearth inmates to keep them calm? What procedures would you take if a group of inmates tried to escape Slearth? Would you allow the inmates to educate themselves or would that make Slearth twice as dangerous and stressful to maintain? Would you allow them to have access to current events of the outside universe while doing time at Slearth? What other rules would you enforce being Warden at S.C.P.P?


closed as too broad by PipperChip, HDE 226868, Frostfyre, user2547, type_outcast Jan 7 '16 at 23:28

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    $\begingroup$ This is a bit broad; how would you quantify the best answer -- whatever administrative method results in the lowest recidivism rate? $\endgroup$ – Wingman4l7 Jan 7 '16 at 18:31
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    $\begingroup$ It seems broad to me too - namely, what are my goals as Warden? Just to prevent escape? If inmate-safety is my concern I would have a vastly different response than if it isn't. $\endgroup$ – DoubleDouble Jan 7 '16 at 18:44
  • $\begingroup$ Also, if the entire planet is the correctional facility, does that mean this is science fiction? What kind of technology "realism" are you aiming for? $\endgroup$ – DoubleDouble Jan 7 '16 at 18:53
  • $\begingroup$ This is science fiction but technology is based on the present $\endgroup$ – user5434678 Jan 7 '16 at 19:18
  • $\begingroup$ Do you want this to be a correctional facility or a punishment for crimes? $\endgroup$ – Mikey Jan 7 '16 at 21:36

You could consider virtual reality When an Inmate arrives to the planet they land in a place that is fairly standard for a prison. They and other new arrivals would be processed by security before being sent to a personal holding cell.

Once inside the holding cell they are told to wait to be transferred to their ward. Only they are gassed and fall asleep. Once a sleep they could be scanned and have their likeness added to the virtual space. Attached to life support their body is placed inside of a planet wide complex. A complex designed to keep prisoners bodies alive.

No body escapes this prison, because nobody is awake in order to run.

Inside the virtual space AI could design the prison to be inescapable. With their minds connected to the AI, prisoners would never be able to out smart the Officials in the virtual space.

Many physiological experiments could also be tested inside this space. What if one hour lasts for days. With the program adjusting time dilation depending on how much you pay attention to the clock.

I think this could be a fun Scenario. (Still new to the site hope this answer is applicable.)

  • $\begingroup$ For a first answer, this is a great answer and I'm really jealous that I didn't think of it when I wrote mine. +1. $\endgroup$ – The Anathema Jan 7 '16 at 21:47

Let the inmates run the prison

It'll take minimal manpower from You and all You need to do is control the gate (read: space port). It gives the inmates jobs to keep them busy, lets them resolve their own internal conflicts, and any "rules" put in place are generally agreed upon by the population and punishments are likewise dolled out by the population. Such a situation could only be considered "fair" by the inmates and less likely to lead to resentment or unfair treatment.

The Sudbury School is run this way (by its students) and the San Pedro Prison is likewise run by its inmates.

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    $\begingroup$ So... Planet Australia? ;) $\endgroup$ – Wingman4l7 Jan 7 '16 at 18:31
  • $\begingroup$ @Wingman4l7 I am only aware that Australia was a penal colony, but not the details of how that colony was run! $\endgroup$ – Draco18s Jan 7 '16 at 18:32
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    $\begingroup$ @Draco18s - just as long as you realize that a planet is a pretty big place, and you will have inmates all over the place living in ways ranging from relatively modern to purely hunter-gatherer. Most likely criminality would be off the scale, and individual chances of survival would be very low. Also, would you take responsibility for feeding them, providing medical services, or even just giving them medicine when they need it? Or would you be completely "hands-off", in which case whatever society they develop would likely be a Mad-Max style of hell $\endgroup$ – AndreiROM Jan 7 '16 at 19:05
  • $\begingroup$ I doubt the whole planet would actually be the prison yard. It would depend on the number of inmates, but the way I see this is that you'd start with a standard prison and let it (more or less) run itself. As you needed more room, it would expand, eventually covering the whole planet. Figure each individual "prison" is a city-state that's isolated from each other with a surrounding farmed area to supply food (could still be inmate managed, ah la work gangs). $\endgroup$ – Draco18s Jan 7 '16 at 19:08
  • $\begingroup$ @Draco18s - but what might stop individual inmates from leaving the "reservation" and simply setting up shop in the wild? Maybe then returning to the farms and raiding them for food, using spears, and crappy bows and arrows as their weapons. $\endgroup$ – AndreiROM Jan 7 '16 at 19:17

To maximise escape prevention and peace.

Set up specific protocols that control their movements. You can put space between guards and prisoners by giving the guards their own paths and walkways where they can easily shoot or disarm prisoners who are rebelling in any way. Example: Leading them from cell to somewhere else by a corridor, give the guards their own corridor where they can look down at an angle.

You want to control their movements, what they're allowed to have, etc. You'll have to disable certain things that we consider to be "rights." No outside visitors. Guards are never in the same place as inmates with a proper setup so you don't really have to ban their items.

Food would have to be carefully chosen. They can kill other inmates with a steak bone or a fork so finger food that's soft would be good. It's hard to kill someone with a pea.

To maximise calmness of inmates.

Keep them heavily medicated. You can administer it by gas instead of medication or needle, since the person would have to breathe it in. Since it's not by needle, they can't pocket it or steal it. Since it's not by oral ingestion, it's not something they can pretend to take. It has to be a medication that can be put in the air and keep them extremely mellowed out.

To minimise recidivism.

Psychological imprinting and conditioning. You can monitor them to see who responds and develops personality reconditioning. Some people won't respond, perhaps due to their own countering practices or mental disorder. You can choose to not release them.

A common theme of some of my thought processes is to not be overly conscious of being humane.

Problem solutions.

With a carefully chosen set of protocols and architecture of the planet, the problems that can occur are then put on the shoulders of the guards and staff. A disgruntled employee can do something crazy like free all of the inmates, but with a very strict control of movements by means of architecture, you can make it difficult for that to happen. If someone were to escape, they'd have to travel through an elaborate, or perhaps lengthy, process or path to salvation upon which there's many opportunities to stop them, through a kill shot or disarming.

These protocols are a lot like how people are shepherded through airports, except this is set up in a physical way that maximises the features or goals of a prison.

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    $\begingroup$ "It has to be a medication that can be put in the air and keep them extremely mellowed out." So... hot box the prisoners? $\endgroup$ – AndyD273 Jan 7 '16 at 20:11

Set up zones with more or less privileges.
These could be big zones, the size of whole countries.

Prisoners would be assigned to zones based both on their crime, and their behavior in the prison.

Zone 1: essentially like living in a normal town. You have a house, education, work, everything you need to learn how to reintegrate into society. People who are good citizens in this zone can earn their release off planet.

Zone 2: Like living in a dystopia. People live in apartment style housing and have some freedom of movement, but everything is monitored and there are also a lot of check points where guards make sure you are where you are supposed to be. Inmates in this area who are good citizens can earn a right to move to zone 1.

Zone 3: Like prison. Small cells, constant monitoring, no freedom. For those that are violent or causing problems in the higher zones. Prisoners who do their time and show they are willing to amend their ways can move into zone 2.

Zone 4: Death row. Only for the worse of the worst. The killers and psychopaths that are completely remorseless and keep causing problems over an extended time. Once put in Zone 4 a prisoner has a certain amount of time to appeal to the warden to be released back into Zone 3. Appeals are accepted most of the time, except It's a one time clemency, to keep prisoners from bouncing back and forth between 3 and 4.

There could be other zones between these 4, or even specialty zones for special cases.


If "mind control" technology is available, - in the form of controlling their actions, install it in every felon. Note that this might not be all that unrealistic

"Total Control" complete.

You could have them serve their time mind-numbingly performing whatever planetary improvements can be done, expanding and running the facility, and providing for themselves. All while they watch from within their own head.

Or you could have them become your army of soldiers. Or just have them all lay down in their cells all day.

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    $\begingroup$ Or simply mind control them and release them back to their real lives, incapable of ever committing another crime ever again. Congratulations, 0% recidivism! $\endgroup$ – Draco18s Jan 7 '16 at 18:57
  • $\begingroup$ @Draco18s True, but sometimes people think of prison as "justice" or "punishment". Maybe they serve on a hellish planet terraforming project and then are released being incapable of committing another crime. $\endgroup$ – DoubleDouble Jan 7 '16 at 18:59
  • $\begingroup$ Market it. "No need to serve time, criminals are mind-wiped and reintegrated into society unable to ever harm anyone ever again!" Babylon 5 called it "death of personality." OTOH, you wouldn't need a whole planet for this. $\endgroup$ – Draco18s Jan 7 '16 at 19:01
  • $\begingroup$ @Draco18s - you would need a planet to hold all the inmates "awaiting processing" perhaps? $\endgroup$ – AndreiROM Jan 7 '16 at 19:03
  • $\begingroup$ Note though, that the "lower-tech" "more-realistically available" version of this doesn't actually control their thoughts - just their actions by controlling the impulse signals from the brain to the rest of the body. $\endgroup$ – DoubleDouble Jan 7 '16 at 19:08

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