By Robert Lynch
“Welcome to the prison of the future!” Jackson pulled the cover from the model with a flourish. “This new design will solve many of the problems that traditional prisons face, and ultimately end up more economical than traditional designs.”
The committee looked at the unimpressive design that looked no different from any other design put forward during the tender process.
“The crucial difference in this revolutionary design is the use of temporal field generators,” Jackson said.
“You’re putting a time machine in the prison?” the Chairman asked, “Isn’t that just asking for trouble?”
“The temporal field generators can’t be manipulated into a traditional time machine,” Jackson said, “They are hard-wired to work in only one way, they move the interior of the prison into last week. That way, if a prisoner acts out, an escape attempt is made, or a riot occurs; the wardens know a week in advance and can stifle actions before they happen.”
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” The Chairman said, “Firstly, the costs to adding time machine parts to a prison would be prohibitive, time machines cost trillions of dollars to make. Secondly, there is no tamper-proof system you could propose that would satisfy us that putting this kind of technology into the proximity of prisoner would make sense. And thirdly, what you have just proposed is the sustained creation of paradoxes. If the wardens interfere in the events of the previous week, then they are creating a paradox. My temporal theory might be rudimentary at best, but the time fissure disaster that destroyed Modesto, California stands as an eternal monument against the misuse of time machines.”
“Please hear me out,” Jackson said, “I have answers for all these concerns as well as data and economic forecasts behind my proposition.”
“I’m sorry son,” the Chairman said, “It would be a waste of time for both of us for you to try to convince us. Even if you could convince us, we’re spending public money. A reasoned and researched argument won’t convince the average taxpayer.”