Hot answers tagged

65

It used to be commonplace The question show a misconception about pre-modern societies. They were not modern societies in which people dressed funny and had a handful of unusual laws; they were profoundly alien. As it is said, the past is a foreign country. First of all, in pre-modern societies they had no concept of imprisonment as a form of punishment. ...


53

A brand. from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_branding Brand marks have also been used as a punishment for convicted criminals, combining physical punishment, as burns are very painful, with public humiliation (greatest if marked on a normally visible part of the body) which is here the more important intention, and with the imposition of an ...


35

Opiate them Telekinesis is a mind power. That justifies doping their minds. If you use psychodelic drugs they might go tame. They might even become new age hippies. But they will not be functional for most of the time, and most western societies hate this kind of thing anyway. But use narcotics to turn them into helpless, mindless husks that are able to ...


32

Let's look at some case studies Case Study #1: Alcatraz During its 29 years of operation, the penitentiary claimed that no prisoner successfully escaped. A total of 36 prisoners made 14 escape attempts, two men trying twice; 23 were caught alive, six were shot and killed during their escape, two drowned, and five are listed as "missing and presumed ...


31

Turn prisoners into managers Many societies across time have used this tactic (Romans for one, Nazis and Stalinists for more modern/malicious examples). Find the prisoners who are willing to enforce rules on other prisoners in exchange for more rights/luxuries/privileges. This creates a type of managerial oversight among the prisoners themselves. It's ...


29

Silver Dust Exposure to silver dust/colloidal silver eventually turns your entire skin blue. ...permanently. The condition is called Argyria. Paul Karason turned blue after extensive use of colloidal silver It is an essentially harmless condition but there is no way you can mask it. Even the whites of your eye turn dark. So... confine your ...


23

A suicide booth It should be activated by a fingerprint/retina scan or something like that, after activation there would be a time to decide (few hours) to avoid forced activation/give some more time for the inmate to decide. The person gets locked in, guards are notified to check if the activation was not forced, and then it gets filled with helium for ...


23

A pressurized cell. If you quickly jump from a high-pressure to a low-pressure environment, you die painfully, but you can live if the environment is pressurized slowly. So, after incapacitating Dave, put him in a cell and slowly pressurize the air. Tell him he's in a pressurized cell when he wakes up, but don't tell him exactly how pressurized the cell ...


18

The Penal Colony has a long tradition of being a thing. From Alcatraz to parts of Australia, Tripoli to Isla Maria Madre, countries and empires have moved prisoners to hard-to-reach places, very often islands. The great part of using an island is that the waters around the island become a wall for you. Alcatraz famously had treacherous waters surrounding it,...


18

Scarification - give them a big scar on the face, their hands, their feet, ... This would be very hard to hide and it would be obvious that someone is trying to hide it. Scarring someone shouldn't require too much skill and is pretty low-cost and low-tech. Scarification has the added advantage to be easily visible on all kinds of skin color, so you wouldn't ...


18

Define prison. A lot of electronics these days is manufactured in China. Some cities are practically industrial compounds where people work 34-hours shifts for minimal pay. Steel wire meshes are fitted to buildings to prevent suicide, because enough cases happened for it to be a thing: The workers don't own their own houses. They sleep in dormitories that ...


18

I'm a current prison guard, here's some insight. I would refuse to book in an inmate with super powers. We can do that by the way, if we feel our facility is not equipped to contain or care for an inmate we will refuse them. That being said you are talking about a massive undertaking, possibly running into the billions. Look up the SCP writing project and ...


16

Assuming you want the state to bear the least possible cost while still making the criminals "go away", you may want to consider handling the mechanics of your exile in a slightly different way. Your question implies that it's the government's problem to find you an island to live on and a way to get there. While the United Kingdom used "transportation" as ...


16

There are a lot of methods, actually. They work depending on the purpose of imprisonment. Penal colony / Reservation area If you want to isolate them from another part of society. Leave them on a lonely island. Once a month a supply ship arrives. The ship never docks, the supplies are delivered by boats. The ship is escorted by a few frigates, they open ...


15

In the Riverworld series, Philip José Farmer had future humans set up a whole planet to resurrect a sizable chunk of all humans who had died, from the first hominid to the early 21st century. They were resurrected with perfectly healthy, equivalent 25-year-old bodies, and if they died they would be resurrected elsewhere on the planet, supposedly at random (...


15

Victorian Era is 1837–1901. Early period of film starts in 1890s. So is it possible to record and replay? Of course, because it was done. For transmission, it is more complicated. First prototypes was mechanical: As a 23-year-old German university student, Paul Julius Gottlieb Nipkow proposed and patented the Nipkow disk in 1884 As you can see, still ...


15

Inmates are the guards. This is the Trusty system. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trusty_system_(prison) The trusty system had designated inmates used by staff to control and administer physical punishment to other inmates according to a strict, prison-determined, inmate hierarchy of power... The bulk of guarding and disciplining of the inmates ...


14

Either remove the tech in question, or even better, lock it down, and use it to further monitor and control the inmates. That tech can be used to educate / brainwash inmates by constantly broadcasting educational programs, or offering them some entertainment as a reward for good behavior. Furthermore, you can probably tap into what they're looking at at ...


13

Threaten to hurt someone else Well... since this society of yours have already thrown out some of the human ethics as we know them, you might as well go slightly further and throw out a couple more. As per the principle in the film Wedlock, you mate each prisoner with someone else. If the immortal prisoner dies, then an automated system kills The Other ...


13

It depends on where the guards are If the guards are in the city, then that's a big prison. You can expect to see the same kinds of prison riots that humans have observed in all kinds of actively oppressed populations going back to antiquity. Expect this kind of situation if the arcologies are actively trying to punish the prisoners. Oppression rarely ...


13

All prisoners are property of the Government during their sentence. The "owners" don't buy them, just hire them for long periods. In a medieval society, because sentences need to be really harsh, you need to use those slaves only for the most dangerous jobs, like rowing ships, working in mines, etc. If not, people will commit crimes and then ran away during ...


13

The walls, floor, and ceiling of the cells are too massive to move or break. The door to the cell is more than two tons and must be slid out of the way for the occupant to get in and out. There is a window to allow passage of meal trays and such. The door is made of metal embedded in concrete. The concrete is too massive to break apart and that is the ...


12

The implication in the question is that "Dave" needs to be focused in order to visualize the target and access it through teleportation. So the first thing to do is break his ability to focus and concentrate. Perhaps the most effective means without using permanent sedation or lobotomizing the character (and why isn't this allowed?) would be to place him in ...


12

The same and only reason prisons ever have for placing restrictions on anyone or anything: because they're totalitarian institutes that literally exist to make life miserable for the inmates. Having tried to sleep in a sarong on a couple of occasions I can attest that this certainly would make a lot of people miserable.


11

1: It depends on the island, but generally Yes. If the geology of the island favours heavy construction around the coastline - that is, there's decent ground for foundations within a short distance of the shore - there should be no problem building a wall along it. Long walls have been built before, after all. As others have said, though, it's not really ...


11

Here's the deal with crime and punishment. Generally speaking while prisoners in some countries retain SOME rights they lose rights in every country while incarcerated and sometimes, depending on the severity of their actions lose rights even after serving their time. Ethics is a matter of social norms. Not right and wrong. You can claim that ethics is ...


11

It will look a lot like a zoo Each enclosure will need to be purpose built based on what you are trying to contain. If you need to contain a hill giant, you'll want an enclosure with massive, thick walls and no protrusions to climb on. If you want to contain a creature that can turn into fog, you will need to make an airtight chamber sealed with special ...


10

Use a Tungsten Vacuum Box, and keep it in space. Earth likely wont be able to break out of the box (Tungsten has ~1.7x the density of lead, and a really high tensile strength), Fire won't be able to melt it (and also will die out in a vacuum sealed box), water in 0G will just be forced into a sphere unable to do anything, and air, if he somehow escapes the ...


10

Theoretically you could transmit (nor record) sound and images without the phonograph or a cinematograph. Depending on the precise time you have chosen your story to take place, they could be either unavailable or too expensive to use in correctional facilities. The main issues would be precision and amplification, though. For sound, you have probably ...


10

According to modern theories, prison sentences (and other punishments by the criminal justice system) serve multiple functions: The prisoner is prevented from crimes against the general public while imprisoned. He or she can only offend against other prisoners or prison staff. Under coercion, the prisoner is taught lessons for a crime-free life which he or ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible