In the year 2024, the United States perfected its prison industry by imprisoning all of its citizens, including the judges, lawyers, and police.
Trials thereafter occurred within prison cells, as did all other business and family matters.
Judge Leo Flaherty recalled rendering a guilty verdict while sitting on the top bunk, dressed in his orange prison uniform. He used a plastic ruler as a gavel, and the prosecutors and defense lawyers had to shout to be heard from an adjacent cell.
Flaherty was later interviewed by a journalist across the hall, who took notes while questioning the judge from behind bars.
When asked whether the American judicial system is perhaps overzealous in locking up American citizens, Flaherty said, “Nonsense! We’re a nation of laws, and criminals belong behind bars. Some decades ago, loopholes were added to the law by special interests to avoid being found guilty of white collar crimes. While those loopholes may have been eliminated because the prison industry lobbied Washington out of self-interest, the result is an unintentional triumph for morality. And we have the invisible hand of the market to thank for that.
“After all, there can be no doubt now that Americans have regained the moral high ground in the global context, because we can hardly be accused of being soft on wrongdoing. True, we’re all in prison, but there’s always the hope that when released, an American will last more than five minutes on the outside without committing a crime in one of the world’s most litigious and Puritanical societies. Now, with marijuana, financial fraud, mental disorders, and coarse language illegal around these parts, no one is safe, not even children.”
Foreigners wonder how a country can function when all of its citizens operate behind bars. A Frenchman asks, “How do they catch criminals on the outside when the rest are all in prison?” The answer is that robots patrol the mostly-empty neighborhoods on behalf of the prison industry.
An Australian asks why the shareholders of prison companies would lobby for such a stringent judicial system, when they too would likely be found guilty of something. “What’s the point of making millions when you have to spend it in a prison cell?”
Jeannette Claudette, CEO of Prisons R Us, a large company that runs dozens of prisons across the United States, says she has no regrets. Lying on her cot while being raped by her cellmate, her silk uniform having been torn to shreds, she was interviewed by a robot jailer.
“I merely followed capitalistic logic,” she said while sobbing, “to maximize profit. If the market dictates that by rewriting the laws and pressuring the enforcement agencies to automate themselves and show no leniency, thus enriching my company, I too was bound to wind up in prison, so be it. The free market is infallible. In fact, the market is now the only free thing remaining in this country.”