Thursday, December 08, 2005

Bonded Employment

For the biblical system of restitution to function effectively, a process will be needed for people who cannot afford to pay the required restitution. If poor people are not required to make restitution, they could commit crime with impunity. The biblical solution to the problem of the poor thief is the “restitution loan”. If the convicted thief owns property, they would probably need to sell some of it to make restitution. If the person does not own property, they would have to find someone, hopefully a family member or neighbour, to lend the money to make restitution.

In exchange for this loan, the criminal would become a “bonded employee” of the lender. While under the bond, the criminal would be provided money to cover food and shelter, but the rest of their earnings would go towards repaying the loan (Ex 22:3). The bonded employee would be under travel restrictions and would not be able to travel far from their place of work. An electronic tracking device may be needed to ensure that they do not escape to avoid payment. The criminal would probably have to promise good behaviour to the person making the loan. This should assist with the rehabilitation of the criminal.

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