I can see a future where political correctness has become so overwhelming that there is no wrong doing in this world, everything will be an illness or a condition and will be treated with support rather than punishment.
In such a world, going to prison will be valid career choice, the prison itself will not be a holding cell in the traditional terms, it will be no different than a family home, there will be a lock on the door, but the prisoners will be a family unit and able to unlock it themselves.
Prisoners will have all of the rights of anyone else, they will be provided with a job and receive an income, and be allowed material possesions to furnish their cell. They will be allowed the latest gadgets to entertain them and will have access to the rest of the world via the internet, or whatever it has become.
I was shocked the other day to hear about an english guy in a foriegn prison which was played up to be rough and poorly maintained, with awful food and not the sort of place that you would ever want to visit, let alone stay. However when interviewed, the man said that he was fine, and had been on his playstation in is cell and there was a gym he could use when he wanted, when asked about the food he said that in his 2 months there he hadn't tried it. Instead he had been given food from the outside to cook himself and eat.
The idea of prison it seems has already become comfortable, the image of Mr Bridger in the Italian Job comes to mind. The real prisoners it seems are those on low incomes and the homeless in our towns and cities. Now i'm not saying that modern prison is good, nor am I saying it is bad. I'm not for corporal punishment and treating people like shit, but I know that education and mollycoddling is not the way either, because 99% of the people out there are not interested in learning anything that does not agree with their world view. So while prisons offer an increasing number of courses with exams and qualifications at the end, these will only be for a few serious about reform.
This is why I feel that prisons will stop being horrid places for the criminal to be incarserated, and will become universities. You will end up with graduates of Holloway, people with phd's from Verne. Rather than students paying to go to a real university, they may well end up commiting a minor crime so that they will be given free room and board, and given degree level education at her majesties pleasure. Following this they'll be given a job and live very happily in the prisotopia.
So it seems that those prisoners that do not belong in the society within a society must be put somewhere else. When prison is to good for the prisoners some other punishment must be dealt out to them, but what? maybe they'll be put out on the streets, a far harsher environment. In tis future there will arguably be more freedom, better prospects, and less crime in a prison than on the averge middleclass street.