According to the United States Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2,293,157 prisoners were held in federal or state prisons or in local jails on December 31, 2007. Add one more to this staggering number, Bernie Madoff. After Madoff entered a guilty plea yesterday, he is being detained in custody until sentencing. (Lawyers, see 18 U.S.C. sec. 3143).
The Wall Street Journal's Law Blog has, at this link, an interesting post about what life in prison will be like for Madoff.
In this matter, the justice system seems to have worked thus far. Still, the victims' money is lost. Madoff has ruined his life. Wouldn't it have been better to have an effective regulatory system, run by competent people with a sense of public duty, to police the industry before things snowballed to this point?