Trejo may now be clean but there is still one addiction in his life. “I love working,” he says, though this is partly because he has concluded that crime really doesn’t pay. “I realised that if I rob someone for $800, that may only take two minutes – but the other price is probably five years in prison. If you divide $800 into five years, it’s not a very good hourly wage.”
The level of punishment times the probability of punishment is the cost of crime.
Which does mean that if you raise the probability of punishment then you can reduce the duration of it. A guaranteed week inside for burglary might do more to reduce the incidence than 10 years applied to only 1% of those who do it.