Source: (2001) Journal of the James Madison Institute (Winter), 17-22.

Benson begins his consideration of restitution with three points: (1) justice demands that, when a crime occurs, action be taken to reflect the negative consequences of the resulting harm back upon the perpetrator of the crime; (2) imprisonment reflects negative consequences onto taxpayers, who have to pay for a correctional system; and (3) punishment such as imprisonment fails to deflect or remedy negative consequences befalling the victim. The better way to deal with crime, according to Benson, is restitution to the victim. To argue his case, he sketches the history of restitution in the West, the current practice of criminal restitution in Japan, restitution in America, and “privatizationâ€? (as against government “ownershipâ€?) of much of criminal justice.


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