"How Soylent and Oculus Could Fix The Prison System"

Holy **** that’s prison food?, its way better than the food i ate over half my lifetime in boarding school.

The brain damage from long term solitary is permanent.

And yes, torture is for setting examples. That doesn’t make it right.


Well what do you suggest be done to repeat offenders, the ones that are usually put in solitary?

I’m not an authority on criminal prosecution. I have no idea how to deal with violent offenders.

1 Like

You’re not from around here, are you? :wink:

1 Like

This would be terrible publicity for Soylent. You don’t want to be known as “prison food”.


Probably a good point.

Much better to get NASA on board first…


I agree that we should build a penal colony on Mars.


I might commit some crime to get a free trip to Mars with free Soylent. That sounds pretty awesome.


Well those who put those criminals in solitary are an authority on criminal persecution.


Freudian slip???


It’s not so easy.
If you give a prisoner tech, you have to assume it will be misused.

A toilet or shower: could it be misused? What to do when it breaks? Aren’t these expensive items (plumber for when it breaks, to install them, staff-controlled valves for misuse, etc…)?

TV: How do you manage volume control? And provision needs to be made to cut the power at a certain time (bedtime). Programming needs to be bought, too. Is there any inexpensive programming available? TV is a hard problem. It’s not just the cost of the TV. That part is quite cheap.

A shelf is quite simple. That should be a slam dunk. Why don’t cells have shelves?

I don’t see how computer use and prisoners can ever work. Prisoner communications to outside have to be managed by prison staff and there’s no way to do this electronically. Computers are not just dumb terminals, but they need the internet to function best. What is there to do on the computer that doesn’t involve the internet? Word processing (for letters)? Offline games? That’s about it. There was an effort to teach prisoners programming but that’s easier with internet access. I’d describe it as folly such an effort. Oculus Rift is right out.

Re: Soylent
Soylent = $8 / day; Prison food = $4 / day.
Food quality-related externalities have to be $4 / day for Soylent to be worth it. Per day the current cost of inmate healthcare is $34 / day, so it’s possible that food-related externalities are that high or more. You’d need to do an experiment (with consent, of course) to figure out if it’s worth it.

Interesting topic. Having worked for the federal Bureau of Prisons some years ago I just wanted to point out that prison meals are a critical part of keeping the peace in prison. Regardless of how nutritious Soylent is, not having real food on a continuous basis would be disastrous in prison. The safety of the inmates and the staff who have chosen to serve in this environment would be put at risk. Over the years I have heard many say ‘who cares’ if inmates get 3 hots a day’. First off, they are human beings and second the security risk around meals is to great. Soylent might be a good alternative for those inmates that find themselves in Special Housing Units and abuse the effort to be provided nutritious hot meals while in SHU. Just my thoughts.


Pretty sure prisoners can get computer access, and yes you can absolutely manage their online communications. A heavy-handed way to do it would be just block everything, then white list sites that are acceptable, but you could also do more flexible arrangements and monitor all the communication.

I mean, you wouldn’t want someone in prison for hacking anywhere near the computer… but for your random thugs who need some education it should be fine.

Yep prosecution :smile:

Replace the personal hygiene stuff with AO+ Mist, and you’ll save a lot of money from using soap and water.

1 Like