Sunday, 24 December 2006

Crime and Punishment

I've been thinking, dangerous I know. I was at work last night when a public information advertisement came on the TV warning about the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. These adverts are aimed at teenagers, but I feel what they fail to show are the consequences of catching these diseases. There is no mention of the medical effects being infected may cause.
This in a way brings me to my point, kids are told what to avoid, but they are not taught what the consequences will be if they fail to.
I feel the same could be said about crime, kids understand what is illegal, but fail to understand the consequences that must be faced if the law is broken. What I would like to suggest is an addition to the School curriculum to include lessons in Crime and Punishment. The lessons could possibly be given twice a year for the final three years of School. The kids could be taught the process of being arrested, all the way to being sat behind bars in prison. The lessons could be given by members of the prison service or the police force, it may also be beneficial to include the probation service who could give the kids some idea what difficulties ex-prisoners face on release.
I feel that if the kids are informed of the mess their lives could become they may be less inclined to commit crime. This may be a stupid idea, so I'd like your opinion. If this idea is met favourably, I'll consider formulating a petition for the inclusion of Crime and Punishment lessons to be included in the National Curriculum.


Ian said...

Leaving aside the whole thorny issue of whether we should be trying to instil in kids that they should observe the laws because that's the right way to behave rather than because they might get punished if they get caught, you'd have to be very careful the discussion did not stray onto detection rates... It might not harm for our elected representatives to show some respect for law and due process, either.

Still, if I can put my cynicism on one side for a moment, I think there's some merit in your idea. You mention the police, prison service and probation officers, but how about bringing in some ex-cons as well? I'd guess an individual talking about their life inside, and after, would have more impact than a few homilies from a person in uniform.

james higham said...

...I feel that if the kids are informed of the mess their lives could become they may be less inclined to commit crime...

Not so sure about that really. Kids don't really understand what consequences really are, except intellectually.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I think you are right. As a former teacher in a very rough school, I used to find that one of the things that would really make kids think about the consequences of crime was telling them about some of the humiliations of prison, such as having to wear prison issue underwear! I know it sounds daft, but they hated the idea!

youdontknowme said...

I think punishments should just be tougher. Our jails are full. My solution would be to not jail them in this country. I would pay countries like China, Russia and very poor countries in Africa to take them and get them to give them hard labour.

This would be cheaper for us because the costs would be far less than they are here. They actually get punished and we would have the resources to rehabilitate the low level criminals who would make up only about 25,000.

The country that gets them gets money to take them which they can invest in their economy and other parts of their country. It will also create a demand for more prison guards which will also lower the unemployment rate. everyone wins except for the criminal.

Detection rates are so low because we don't have enough police to deal with crime eventhough we have the most police we have ever had. This is down to all the paperwork. I would get rid of most of the paperwork and those which are needed we would hire administrators to deal with it. It would be costly but we would have more visible police actually on the streets.