So, I just watched the movie Death Race, which was similar to Running Man. They are both about prison inmates playing deadly sport for televised entertainment. I think that is a great concept. Now, let's be clear on one matter first. Our prison system is f*cked up. They say public prisons cost nearly $50,000/year on average to incarcerate someone. The US has the highest incarceration rate because we lock up so many for non-violent offenses (e.g. drugs). Then there's the butt rape. The Supreme Court just ordered CA to release tens of thousands of prisoners due to "overcrowding". That is all f*cked up.
I blabbed on about this topic a while ago... saying that "justice" demands free-market labor camp prisons. Justice should be about reciprocation, debt, and contracts. For example, say a court/jury deems I have harmed another person's life or property, and therefore incurred a debt. I should pay for the damage (if accidental), and pay double the damage (if intentional). I am not freed until the debt is repaid. I also pay for my prison, and may choose my own prison. It could be a low-cost rent-a-shed with barbed wire, or one with amenities like our state prisons. Of course, the wait for freedom in an expensive prison would be long, as I strive to repay my debt on top of room/board. If the prison let's me escape, they are liable for all debts. Murderers can't repay their debt, so their fate is decided by the victim's next of kin: be it hard labor or death penalty. This is what a privatized penal system would look like in a society morally dedicated to free choice.
Here's where we get to bringing back the gladiators! Let's put American Gladiators back on the air, but with swords and nunchucks instead of Nerf batons. It would be distasteful to many, but I'm sure there is a solid Pay-Per-View audience out there. As you could imagine, the salary would be huge... especially for champions in the arena. Some prisoners might strive to earn freedom quickly by fighting. There are probably even some macho-agro free dudes out there who would choose to fight just for fame. I don't know if I would choose to watch such a thing, but I do enjoy boxing. It would surely be less barbaric than our current penal system.