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A Simple Way to Reduce the Prison Population

Written By:  |  Posted: Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

            An article by Kevin Johnson that appeared on the front page of USA Today reports that "More than half a dozen states are reclassifying a range of property crimes from felonies to misdemeanors, a change that could spare prison terms for minor offenses and save states jail and prosecution costs."[1] The article does not say if the thieves have to pay their victims back for the theft or damage done to their property.

            Many of this nation's earliest settlers paid for their passage as indentured servants. A thief who was unable to make restitution for a property crime could be sold into servitude for his theft (Ex. 22:3b). Property crimes are best paid for by restitution, and when this is not possible, working off a debt is the next best thing. Chuck Colon, president of Prison Fellowship who pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice for attempting to defame Pentagon Papers defendant Daniel Ellsberg and served seven months of a one-to-three year sentence in the federal Maxwell Prison in Alabama, offers an interesting perspective on the topic of restitution:

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