2051; or The Emancipated Synthetic by L. Stanley
In the year 2041, a law was passed stating that all crimes, debts and unfulfilled sentences could be traded for either the simple exchange of free labour, the exchange of personal favours for those in power, or for the increasingly popular exchange of a wholly domesticated existence measured by the severity of the previous outstanding liability.
With the criminal justice system all but abolished, this became a way of life in England, none challenging that which was the norm: trading life and time for gain, prosperity and eventual emancipation.
For once in history, captivity and servitude were valued by all parties.
And freedom was the myth and secret it was always thought to be.