Tuesday, August 08, 2006

 

Will 'Shame Punishment' Cross the Atlantic?

Plenty of things to pick up on in the media today but, perhaps a bit overdosing with foreign topics recently, the thing which caught my eye was the article by Rachel Shteir on 'shame punishment' in the USA. Originating with Texas Judge Ted Poe, this forces offenders to accept a fair helping of public shame for their misdeeds. This can take the form of shoplifters being forced to write a sign 'I am a Thief' and stand holding it outside the store from which they stole. Or it could be the sign 'violent felons' put up outside the home of those who have so offended. Judge Brown in Tennessee even arranged for victims to steal back from the homes of the those who broke into their residences.

And it works, apparently, too. According to Poe,only 9 per cent of those 'shamed' broke probation compared to the national average of 50 per cent. But there is a downside. Shaming doesn't solve the drug habits which fuel most property offences and such a punitive approach might turn some offenders even more ferally against society. One can also, moreover, believe such punishment might become the 'badge of honour' ASBOs have to some hardened young malefactors.

Will it cross the Atlantic as so many new American initiatives do? Such an old fashioned 'put 'em in the stocks' approach would seem tailor made for the Conservatives of old but I can just as easily see a Labour Home Secretary, like John Reid, picking up this particular ball and running with it. Just give the idea time to seep into the tabloid consciousness and we'll see... but you read it here first remember.

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Hi, i was looking over your blog and didn't
quite find what I was looking for. I'm looking for
different ways to earn money... I did find this though...
a place where you can make some nice extra cash secret shopping.
I made over $900 last month having fun!
make extra money
 
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