In 2077, homicide is the leading cause of death in 75% of those 30 years old and under. We have a problem. The crime rate has risen phenomenally over the past 50 years, soaring to unprecedented heights in the last 20. While new measures have been taken by both local and Government enforcement agencies, they have been unable to stem the tide of crime sweeping America. The “deterrents” of longer sentencing, braindance, and execution seem to achieve little, so manpower priorities are now switching to more efficient and effective means of enforcement. The set of laws applied in the Free State of California and Night City is called the Uniform Civilian Justice Code, which came into effect in 2000, it was a remain of the martial law that did so much good in the convulsed 90s and applied the same uniform punishments to crime, which basically are exile, confinement in a security block, personality adjustment through Braindance or Execution.
Security Blocks are the Jails of the 21st century, and except the minimum security ones, they tend to be as good as a death sentence. All states within America maintain an array of security blocks within their borders, these buildings are maintained primarily by State and National enforcement agencies, although many are supported to a certain extent by Corporations. The manpower and financial problems associated with running security blocks usually involve megacorporations in almost every state, being especially notable in the Free State of California.
Some states have one huge Security complex which encompasses all of the different levels of security required for the containment of criminals, from low security to not even Houdini would make out of it alive. Other maintain different security blocks in separate areas.
Low security blocks contain petty criminals and other convicted of moderate offenses. They are often forced to work very hard, which actually is slavery but, who cares? A prisoner who worked hard don’t have the energy to cause trouble.
On Medium Security Blocks, things get funnier. They primarily contain violent and dangerous criminals. Their sentences are often long and the potential for dangerous behavior is high, which is the reason Braindance and Personality adjustment are so often included as part of the sentence. Disturbances in this block are dealt with automatically through AI guardians, that assess the level of offense and assigns the appropriate sentence that can range from an immediate addition to sentence length, immediate transfer to High-Security facilities or even execution, but inmates are informed in advance of this system, so they are aware of the repercussions before causing trouble.
High-Security Blocks are the ones for the dangerous people and also the part of the confinement blocks where inmates tend to live shorter. Security is tight, surveillance is constant and a team of AI guards is ready to fire when someone steps out of the line. At night, most inmates are locked down into Braindance while the guards run a security sweep of the entire facility to remove potential weapons and other dangerous equipment.
Top Security Blocks are for the ones that make the dangerous people have nightmares. Most people locked here are locked down almost all of the time: interpersonal interaction between inmates is forbidden. You do time in Top and you’re on your own for the duration. Robo-sentries guard you round the clock and no infringement of security is allowed under penalty of death. They don’t fool around in here. The entire Top Security System is one big machine, usually overseen by an AI governor. All connection with night and day disappears, as each inmate is assigned his own time pattern, going through the cycle of sleeping, eating and such with no knowledge of the time, never seeing another inmate, just the Robo-sentries and the all too familiar blackness of corrective Braindance.
And, just in case all of this wasn’t funny enough you also have the PsychoBlocks. You don’t want to be there, but you will if you go nuts. The goal of PsychoBlocks is to attempt rehabilitation, but doctors there are so incompetent that you would miss the worst of the ripperdocs of Night City. Many PsychoBlocks become Corporate pharmaceutical testing grounds, and on top of that, Experimental Personality Adjustment techniques and Personality inhibiting drugs are tested here before being available on other Security facilities. So, if you go psycho, well, you better have a private healthcare or not being caught committing any crime, because most probably you would rather execution.