A concept that I cannot claim to be of my own making but i feel that it truly has a place in Everything. I was introduced to the concept through reading Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels. If you haven't heard of this concept then for god's sake go out and get one of his books now!
Legalising crime is a way of reducing it and making the policing of it easier. The underlying theory is that there will always be crime, no matter how much you try to remove it. Therefore if the authorities accept this fact and make crime legal it becomes possible for them to
A) Issue licences to the more law-abiding criminals which can be repealed if they harvest more than their quota (so to speak). and
B) Generate income from taxing the criminals and charging for the licences.
But how does this reduce crime? well the trick is that the legalised criminals would not be happy with the illegal criminals working on their patch and would take 'action' to stop them. Would you cross institutionalised crime? I didn't think so. Therefore the criminals themselves are the ones who police the crime - Divide and conquer, you could say.
Of course, this creates amusing situations in Pratchett's books because crimes always follow a dialogue something like the following:
"Gimme your money or your life"
"Can I see your license please?"
"Here you are.."
"Oh, o.k. How much money do you want?"
Of course the more cynical amongst us may say that this idea is really naive and would never work in the real world - True, but I can't see it being any more naive than socialism or democracy.