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What do you think of "Shame Punishments" for criminals?

I was watching Taboo last night and found this to be the greatest thing I have heard in a LONG time. A Texas Judge was sentencing people to what have been dubbed "shame punishments" where they were required to wear placards or carry signs stating what their crimes were along the highway as a part of their probation. He said the point is to make an impact on the person & the community and for the victims that will last...

According to the stats they quoted on the show, out of the more than 600 people he has sentenced this way less than 11% had re-offended, compared to an average of 34% of those who had committed similar crimes and were sentenced traditionally (prison & regular probation).

What do you think?

Answer Question
 
SabrinaMBowen

Asked by SabrinaMBowen at 12:12 PM on Nov. 12, 2010 in Politics & Current Events

Level 40 (122,988 Credits)
Answers (19)
  • I think that's a creative punishment, especially for minor crimes. For a major crime, I would think it's not punishment enough and/or might even have safety concerns for someone having to disclose their crime to everyone they meet. Plus, if it's a crime that has long term punishment, who would be checking to make sure it's being enforced. Interesting idea in general, and I bet it would work well for some things.
    pam19

    Answer by pam19 at 12:19 PM on Nov. 12, 2010

  • s/b enforced?
    pam19

    Answer by pam19 at 12:19 PM on Nov. 12, 2010

  • I think it depends on the crime for whether or not this is a good punishment. There are some criminals who I think deserveit , but for some minor offenses, I'm not so sure.
    LovingSAHMommy

    Answer by LovingSAHMommy at 12:27 PM on Nov. 12, 2010

  • I guess it depends on the crime. Hell, I'm all for tattooing rapist/pedophile, etc to the offender's forehead if we're not going to take them out behind the courthouse and shoot them. But I'm guessing it wasn't those kinds of crimes that the judge was using that form of punishment.
    Journey311

    Answer by Journey311 at 12:28 PM on Nov. 12, 2010

  • I like the idea. I've seen some parents do this, and I bet that kid will be thinking about it for a LONG time! Also, I think if it's done the right way (ie the punishment fits the crime) then it can be very effective. For instance, there is a huge amount of shoplifting at the Walmart here, at least 3 times a day the cops are there to take someone away. What if the teen that was caught had to stand out front with a sandwich board that says "I'm a thief. I stole from this Walmart." Some may think this is mean, but I bet they would think twice before stealing again!
    brandyj

    Answer by brandyj at 12:28 PM on Nov. 12, 2010

  • I want to add...IF this is the only punishment for certain crimes, it's definitely not enough. If anything, it should be made an addition to other punishment.
    LovingSAHMommy

    Answer by LovingSAHMommy at 12:28 PM on Nov. 12, 2010

  • The people who were having to do this were having to do it with an officer or probation officer present or doing check ins. Each time was documented by their PO and they had a court appointed "Chaperon" to both ensure they serve their time and that they are kept safe...

    In cases where there were larger crimes, this was a part of their probation and was NOT used in place of their regular punishment (such as prison time or something)...
    SabrinaMBowen

    Comment by SabrinaMBowen (original poster) at 12:31 PM on Nov. 12, 2010

  • I think it's great and if many of the crimes are being committed by younger people I think it might make a larger impact because of the level of embarassment they face by having to wear those by the side of the road! :)


    GREAT idea and if my kids ever decide to step out of line and do something stupid like breaking the law... we might have just found a great punishment for it! :)
    Memigen

    Answer by Memigen at 12:32 PM on Nov. 12, 2010

  • I think it's a great idea, but then I have told my kid if I ever find out he has given anyone "the finger" I will tape all his other fingers down and he will have to walk around with that one up and explain to everyone why.
    skittles1108

    Answer by skittles1108 at 12:36 PM on Nov. 12, 2010

  • HaHa Skittles - That's funny!

    When my mom found out I cut class she came to school with me for an entire day and walked me to all my classes, sat with me in class and even at lunch... It didn't stop me from cutting class, but it sure stopped me from getting caught!
    SabrinaMBowen

    Comment by SabrinaMBowen (original poster) at 12:53 PM on Nov. 12, 2010

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