Which is better for society, restitution or jail?
In the modern society when a person commits a crime he is normally sentenced to jail for a certain time period that is deemed just considering the severity of the crime. However, most people do not consider a second option, restitution.
Restitution is the paying back to the victim by the criminal for the crime committed. For example, if my best jewels get stolen, the thief, after being caught, must return not only the stolen jewels but also make up for the crime. This system benefits the victim, who, instead of paying through taxes for the criminal’s jail stay, gets paid back by the criminal.
The system also benefits the criminal. While in jail the criminal merely awaits the end of his sentence, plotting more crimes, restitution forces the criminal to repay and discourages him from committing more crime, because if he did he would have to repay more and more. On top of this, in order to repay the victim, the criminal must earn the means by which to repay. This forces him to work and have responsibility, which in itself creates a personality not prone to criminal behavior.
On the whole, restitution is better for society because it benefits both the victim and the criminal, while jail does not.