Beyond Three Strikes


English: United States Penitentiary, Leavenwor...

Leavenworth Prison



This approach to the problem of recidivism goes way beyond current three-strikes-you’re-out legislation. Since a criminal may operate in different states, it would become either part of federal law or of state laws for a growing association of states that accept it:




  1. Whenever a felon serves time, the state of jurisdiction would tally the days by which the term of incarceration had been reduced not for good behavior but now for behavior which had been an implicit commitment by the convicted not to re-offend.

  2. Upon a later felony conviction, the offender would serve out the rest of his or her earlier sentence in a facility of the state bringing that original conviction. Only then would his or her new sentence begin.

  3. Absent a federal version, states could associate, each agreeing to receive and keep felons for the completion of their original sentences.

  4. This would replace three-strikes-you’re-out legislation in relevant states while gaining appeal in states without such legislation on the books.




  • The response to recidivism would be more immediate and still adequate.

  • Felons would have a new appreciation for the now qualified time that they get off.

  • States would be more careful as to whom they pass back into society with abbreviated sentences.


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