Hypothetical Question: Jail Time

You are unfairly sentenced to ten years in prison.  You get to prison and meet your new cell-mate a wiser and older person who has been there before you for a number of years.  A few days into your sentence and you meet your warden and get told that you have two options:

a.  You can either do the full time of 10 years.

b. You can do only five years.

You are excited and happy and ecstatic and then you ask: “How?”.

She continues:

Each inmate has to work a minimum of 8 hours a day, the other 16 hours are for sleep and play.  See, it is a nice jail.

If you wish to get a reduced sentence you will work 16 hours and only get 8 hours for sleep and zero hours for play.  The work is hard and exhausting.  She then tells you that you have a couple of days to think and inform her of your decision.

Your cell mate notices your excitement and understands and offers you some advice: ” Many people who have chosen to take option (a) can not get out after 10 years because they have gotten used to this way of life and are too afraid to leave or get their sentences extended.  People who have chosen option (b) are always exhausted and have to fight the distractions and envy of having to watch everyone else play for 8 hours a day while they work.”

Which option would you take?


  • At 2010.01.05 11:22, Nerro said:

    a jail is a jail..no matter how nice it is.
    fa I will go with option b, I won’t mind the exhaustion and hard work, actually that sounds like a good way to get done with the 5 years as quickly as possible.

    • At 2010.01.05 11:24, Sameha said:

      SA3b awy to choose but I think I can take the other option b if I can sleep 6 hours and play for 2. If this option is not a feasible one,I will sure go for the other one.
      Saba7 eL Foll :)

      • At 2010.01.05 12:58, Rula A. said:

        I’ll go with NOT to go to jail :)

        • At 2010.01.05 13:10, Jasmine said:

          Work 16 hours per day, I wouldn’t want to become institutionalized or waste such a huge chunk of my life in prison.

          • At 2010.01.05 13:52, Shimaa Gamal said:

            Typically I will choose option B, I would want to go out of jail as soon as possible because I don’t deserve to be there in the 1st place. Then after I get exhausted and given that I didn’t deserve to be in jail in the 1st place I will get bored and probably kill someone to deserve to do jail time or simply escape :) I usually escape, I can’t work hard for 5 yrs and I can’t waste 10 yrs of my life playing and sleeping :)
            Escaping jail isn’t that hard for people with imagination :)

            • At 2010.01.05 17:29, Amira AK said:

              :) I feel that this is a trick question.. or rather, the typical “the jail is a symbol of your life…. etc. etc.”

              I would go for the 5 years of hard work. would be able to idley sit around for 10 anyway. on the other hand, having the luxury of 10 years to catch up on one’s reading is very tempting 😉

              still, Option B would be the choice i make.

              • At 2010.01.05 19:26, mona said:

                Interesting question. I think I’d choose b until I finish my tunnel out.

                • At 2010.01.05 22:14, ze2red said:

                  for sure B…

                  • At 2010.01.05 22:24, Sofia said:

                    Hi jessyz, I am not sure if I have the right person – I saw the screen name “jessyz” on the website “Cooking for Engineers,” (http://www.cookingforengineers.com/recipe/18/Traditional-Pecan-Pie) so I did a Google search. You made a comment about baking mini pecan pies for picnics and bag lunches, and I am looking for instructions on how to do that (correct baking time, ingredients proportions, etc). I hope I found the right person

                    • At 2010.01.06 15:02, jessyz said:

                      Sorry Sofia, not the same person although I do love Pecans and Maple syrup but I’ve definitely never mad mini pecan pies. :-( but now I am craving mini pecan pies.

                      • At 2010.01.06 15:03, jessyz said:

                        I am enjoying your comments and I think I will add my own tomorrow :-) because right now I still can’t decide.

                        • At 2010.01.05 23:34, Sara said:

                          option B, but i think i’ll die of depression before the 5 years … just for the fact that i’m innocent and working 16 hours a day to get out

                          • At 2010.01.06 02:37, ibhog said:

                            this is funny, we deny the fact that we simply can’t live without fun or joy.

                            I’ve tried it many times, to be a stalwart and work extremely hard in something I hate for people I don’t care for, just to complete a stereotyped cycle – I failed .. miserably.

                            If I live my ‘day’ happily, time and place doesn’t matter anymore – I guess.

                            This is a perfect analogy to the ‘saving money for marriage’ thing. But, who am I to judge? some call be young and immature, I’m rendered a ‘baby’ most of the time, a reckless idiotic young man who doesn’t know anything about responsibility. But one thing I like to believe in: happiness was never an outcome of too much sacrifice, only resentment and depression.

                            You either live your days to the full in jail, or you break completely free of it, those are the options. That said, I choose A and try everyday like hell to escape.

                            Am I too optimistic?

                            • At 2010.01.13 14:35, KJ said:

                              I will go for B. One year down the road I will be popular with the wardens, one of which I will kidnap and possess. Then I will free myself and the others.

                              • At 2010.01.25 15:13, jessyz said:

                                Interesting solution

                                • At 2010.01.16 20:33, Leida Cedano said:

                                  Intriguing post. My co-workers and I were just discussing this the other evening. Also your webpage looks good on my old blackberry. And thats rare. Keep it up.

                                  • At 2010.01.23 14:06, mony said:

                                    for me nothing in this world worth the struggle i mean If its meant to be it will if not then to HELL with it :)So i guess i`ll kick it slow and easy, i`ll go with A.