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Restraining prisoners

Another area that does not get much consideration but needs at least a little thought is the requirement for us to restrain people. There are several scenarios that require restraining people ranging from a few minutes to the rest of their lives. You may also need to interact and trust the captive or their relatives in the future so you must consider this.

Many will resolve this by deciding that they will not restrain people but just kill them but the reality is that in many cases it is just not going to work that way. Is your next door neighbour going to be happy that you shot their teenage son because he got drunk and was singing at 0200 for the third night in a row? It just isn’t going to be the way to build a community. I’ve touched on this subject in ‘Looking to the Future – Justice‘. From here on I’m working on the assumption that we are talking about Justice and not justice via kangaroo courts. We should do the best we can and that is a different story. Sure people will be happy with punishments, even harsh punishments that would be unthinkable today, but after an event all bets are off and punishment will get harsher. For one thing there will not be any whingey whiney lawyers to make excuses for their behaviour, nobody is going to care what happened to them when they were children and punishments will have to be more immediate and not be dragged out over time. The stocks, birching, etc. will be back for minor crimes, capital punishment for many serious crimes as well as imprisonment and work gangs for those in between.

I’m not going to discuss Justice here but merely offer some options on restraining people as punishment, while being disruptive and needing controlled or awaiting a court decision.

So let us look at why we would keep people captive in our new world.

  • Murder
  • Physical harm to humans
  • Property Crimes
  • Community crimes
  • Protection
    • You
    • Them
  • Awaiting Justice

Note I have specified the reasons for restraining people. Anything else is you holding people against their will. You should end up in the same restraints for that.


We won’t have the forensics or the expertese to validate every murder. It will be impossible for us and we must accept that murderers will get away and innocent people will die. It is easy to say now that without solid evidence we would not convict but in the chaos evidence can appear damning and we will not be able to check properly. Few of us will have the resources to imprison someone long term. The costs will be too high and the risk too great that they will escape and kill others or bring death to us in other ways by supplying intelligence on us and our defences. So the chances are that anyone found guilty of murder will be executed. Until we have a large enough community what option do we have?

What about accidental death? It’ll probably fall into one of three camps, murder, self defence or an accident. An accident depending on the circumstances may be tried as murder. You kill someone in the middle of a crime and it will be murder. You shoot someone in your home and it will be self defence. Shooting someone hunting could be classed either way. It will not be black and white.

Physical harm to humans

Depending on what the actual harm is it could again merit execution. Punishment will be harsh and Justice must be served. If execution is the decision then it is executed in the same way as for murder.

If however the harm is minor and does not merit execution then we should restrain the convicted person in a jail as a prisoner.

Property Crimes

This would result in going to jail, a fine, the stocks, physical punishment or some sort of work service depending on the crime and the character or the criminal.

Community crimes

Again, this would result in going to jail, a fine, the stocks, physical punishment or some sort of work service depending on the crime and the character or the criminal.

Protection – You

This would require some sort of restraint. Short term only as long term would be a sentence. A sentence for a potential crime. How exactly would we handle someone out for revenge for example?

Protection – Them

This would require some sort of restraint. Long term would be an issue as we are now looking at restraining people that are looking at harming themselves. Are we geared up for handling people with self harming mental issues?

Awaiting Justice

Depending on the crime and the persons place in the community they may not be trusted with being allowed to roam free. We may have to restrain them short term whilst we proceed to trial. I would envisage that our Justice system would be relatively swift. Trials would take place with hours, perhaps a maximum of two days and Justice served swiftly after.


As we have decided we are going to keep prisoners we will have no option but to build a jail and lock convicts in it. Nothing fancy, basic room with a door and a slot to be fed through. There are discussions on other articles where we suggest converting an existing home into a jail for example. Nothing will be long term as long sentences will lead to execution so we are only talking about jail time of a maximum of a year or so and that is worse case, most would be a month or so. A permanent structure is what we require and people to act as prison guards. We don’t want to make it cushy and we want it to be secure. Meals to be the basics and toilet facilities functional.

For very short term we want something like a strait jacket whilst out of jail and on being convicted or good solid handcuffs whilst being on trial.


Personally, I think Justice is an area that will cause the most controversy. Some won’t want to keep any prisoners and death sentences will be carried out for minor crimes. I’m not a whingey whiney liberal but I do believe in Justice, Crime and Punishment. I’m just not so sure that it can be managed as easily as I am suggesting. Will the punishment be execution for every offence that needs someone to be kept in a jail for more than a few days? That would be bad but is hardly unexpected when food and resources are tight. Death, harsh physical punishment or the stocks will be the punishments of choice. Jail won’t be.

What about when there is no Justice system

A final area worth considering is what about before you get together with others and set up a Justice system. What will you do on your own when raiders come into your home? What will you do when you see someone killing another human being? Are you going to hold a trial or are you going to dispense summary justice? (Note the small j)

In my view if you know what you are going to do simply do it. If you want to keep them to find out more or at least interrogate them then you need to ensure they are adequately restrained. Handcuffs will help but do not stop people gaining the upper hand and killing you and escaping to undo their handcuffs elsewhere. Personally, I’m going to use cable ties on my captives. One around the wrists and one on each finger and thumb. Ankles and knees together and fastened to the hands. Never leave your prisoner alone until they are fully secured and when they are secured never leave them alone for long. I have seen people escape from strait jackets, handcuffs and cable ties and they all take time, time where you could stop them. Be aware that having escaped from that situation they will not look upon you kindly. So don’t let it happen.

I have considered making a restraining table with straps and buckles to restrain people like those used in the US for executing people by lethal injection. Perhaps when I have everything else I will look at those. For the moment though an overload of cable ties, good solid handcuffs, leg chains and thumbcuffs.

Final warning

When you have them restrained don’t under any circumstances give them an explanation of what you are doing, your plans, your defences and your weak spots. You know it never works out well.

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