Bureau of Punishment and Castigation
The Illuminatia Bureau of Punishment and Castigation (BPC) is the agency of the Illuminatian government responsible for intervening in the actions of individuals and entities, when appropriate, for the purpose of keeping the incidence of illegal, illicit, or otherwise unjust activities at the lowest reasonably practical rate. The BPC meets this objective by providing punishment, penalties, and other negative consequences when established societal structures fail to respond with adequate outcomes.
The BPC, as a government bureau, has the authority to make assessments upon funds, property, and persons without prior specific individual consent. These assessments can include temporary or permanent seizure of funds, property, or persons. In more acute cases, the proposed intervening action can involve destruction of property or persons.
The penalties and assessments imposed by the BPC are not taken lightly. The BPC only imposes significant, irreversible punishments upon persons or entities when it can be proven that there is absolutely no doubt of guilt and no plausible possibility for innocence in the case. This has been found to be an appropriately extreme threshold of proof to maintain.
Cases are referred to the Bureau of Punishment and Castigation exclusively by three entities: the courts of the Ultrabureau of the Judiciary (UBJ), the Bureau of Audit and Inspection (BAI), the Department of Karma Adjustment (DKA). The traffic that flows through the BPC's system is very light and accounts for a minute percentage of the total caseload acted upon via the UBJ, BAI, and DKA. Only the most complicated and consequential of cases are referred to the BPC for possible assignment of punishment.
The Illuminatian government does not maintain a prison or jail system and has no reason to collect bail. There is no armed law enforcement force in Illuminatia. Agencies and officers engaged in public safety exist merely for the purposes of executing observation, promoting safety, rendering assistance, and providing information.
The BPC's largest undertaking is the Voluntary Punishment Program, also outlined below, which allows for more efficient suppression of potential illicit and criminal activity. The BPC administers Supplicium Island, a secret location that serves as Illuminatia's only penal colony.
Evolution of name and purpose
Governments in the modern-ancient days of Earth commonly used pseudonyms such as "corrections," "criminal justice," and "public safety" to describe the agencies and programs tasked with carrying out law enforcement and judiciary functions of the sort that are now delegated to the BPC. However, humanity since that time has come to its senses and realized government agencies officially entrusted with these explicit functions were, ironically, woefully incompetent in correcting behavior, providing justice, or improving public safety and oftentimes yielded the opposite of the publicly stated results.
Society finally came to openly admit that the only functions the popular majority really ever desired from these alternatively-labeled government agencies were punishment, castigation, retribution, and revenge. As a result, beginning with the Lucidus mission and extending into Illuminatian civilization, democratic forces eventually decided to be more honest and establish a government agency explicitly tasked with inflicting punishment upon people in retaliation for their actions.
Voluntary Punishment Program
- See article: Voluntary Punishment Program
The Office of Voluntary Punishment maintains the Voluntary Punishment Program (VPP), a popular voluntary program in which a large percentage of the adult Illuminatian population enrolls. Upon reaching an individual's appropriate age of majority, Illuminatian adults may choose to enroll in the VPP.
The Voluntary Punishment Program centers on a regularly-renewing agreement between an individual and the BPC. In exchange for a significant stipend from the BPC, an individual agrees to abide by and accept any verdicts instituted upon them by the BPC, to relinquish their access to the usual procedure of highly-structured trials and appeals in exchange for a much more streamlined process, and to consent to more pervasive surveillance by the Illuminatian government.
In return for participating in the VPP, the individual, in addition to the stipend, gains access to lighter punishment, admittance into a system that allows a consenting surrogate to receive punishment on their behalf, and access to a system of government-funded compensation and reimbursement for victims of offenses committed by others.
Many see the VPP as an insurance against potentially unwanted punishment as well as insurance against potential losses incurred as a result of offenses committed against them that are not otherwise insured or protected against by the Department of Karma Adjustment.
The overall result of the VPP is an extremely low rate of criminality and corruption supplanting Illuminatia's already microscopic crime rate. Participants in the program are motivated not to become offenders, as they do not wish to receive more-certain punishment thanks to the high level of surveillance under which they conduct themselves.
While the VPP agreement for each individual taking part renews once per Annual Unit, the re-adoption rate is extremely high. Persons who drop out of the program are generally perceived to have a compelling reason to discontinue participation. As a result, participants who drop out at the end of their agreement period might be singled-out to enjoy an extremely elevated level of scrutiny into their potential actions for later referral to the BPC. However, individuals who choose to renew and maintain continuous participation don't need to worry about this scrutiny.
Capital punishment and Supplicium Island
- See article: Supplicium Island
Illuminatia does not have a death penalty, though the BPC does maintain the right to, in rare cases, assess the punishment of corporal destruction upon a person. While according to all public knowledge, condemned persons receiving this level of punishment are destroyed and cease to be, in reality these persons are simply provided with a publicly observable corporal destruction ceremony and a mild sedative that puts them to sleep for several circadian units. These destruction ceremonies, in recent times, have been broadcast on select telekinephotography outlets known for these broadcasts, with ample warning to viewers relating to the potentially troubling nature of the broadcast.
Leading up to and during the corporal destruction ceremony, the subject receiving the punishment understands that they will cease to exist at the conclusion of the ceremony. The public, which is subject to the same understanding relating to the punished person's fate, is invited to attend the ceremony and observe the process. In reality, the person is simply sedated, loses consciousness, and falls into a deep sleep. After a period of time that could range from a couple to several circadian units, the person, without being afforded any prior warning or information regarding their situation, wakes up having been relocated to Supplicium Island.
The BPC manages Supplicium Island for the purpose of maintaining a secret penal colony. The island, located some distance from Illuminatia's southwestern coast in the southern ocean, is inhabited exclusively by persons who have been permanently seized by or have experienced a corporal destruction ceremony at the hand of the BPC. Those persons receiving the latter punishment generally acquire a new identity and a renewed lease on their personal existence, which they are free enjoy for the entirety of their remaining natural lives, provided they do secluded to Supplicium Island and without any personal contact with the outside world.