Restitution for victims of crimes is better for society than jail for criminals.
Let’s say someone stole 500 dollars from you, and the person who did it was found guilty. What would be better for you? If the criminal has to pay you back the 500 dollars, possibly more for committing the crime itself, then you get money. If the criminal goes to jail, you get nothing. What would be better for the people around you? Well, if you get the money back, you can use it to buy other things, which boosts the economy, as stated in Bastiat’s The Broken Window. Theoretically, if the criminal pays you back and doesn’t go to jail, there would be fewer taxes to pay for feeding/clothing/housing the people in jail, but that’s likely to not be the case; the government will just keep charging taxes. What would be better for the criminal’s rehabilitation? If he goes to jail, he gets to live for free for however long he’s in there. If he pays you back, he loses money.
You see, in all three cases, it’s better for society if restitution is given to victims, rather than the criminals go to jail.