Public punishment is an act or instance of punishing. A deterrent is something that discourages or is in intended to discourage someone from an act. In today’s society public punishment is often debated, where as in the 1800s, punishing someone publically was accepted. From community service to standing at intersections with hand written signs, public punishment can act as a deterrent or not affect that person at all. Public punishment is often frowned upon, but is effective in some, not all cases, and influences better behavior. Public punishment does not always work. Trenton General from Chesapeake, Virginia, is a troubled teen whose grades in school were below his parents’ expectations (Belkin 1). Trenton’s parents took away his video games, cell phone and made him a “work for food” sign around his neck in an orange jumpsuit (Belkin 1). His parents stated “It was an embarrassment to us that we tried so much to reach him and it seems like everything we did failed” (Belkin 1). His parents tried everything they could until they decided to resort to public punishment (Belkin 1). Trenton’s guardians gave him the choice of no phone for two weeks or stand on the corner with a sign with his grades posted, that method did not work (Belkin 1). Trenton stated that “because when it comes to school it’s boring” (Belkin 1). Public punishment does not always work.
Public punishment is often frowned upon because of the humiliation that is brought along with the punishment. Trezhan Blaha, from Elyria, Ohio, learned his lesson when he was caught stealing from the mall (Jackson 1) . Trezhan’s mother and uncle decided that he should stand on the corner with a sign that read: “I like to steal and have no respect for my mother or authority” (Jackson 1). Blaha stated “I was embarrassed but I definitely learned my lesson” (Jackson 1). This punishment from Blaha’s guardians helped him learn his lesson and acted as a deterrent for the future.In Fulton County, Georgia, Judge Robinson is starting to crack down on new methods to punish criminals (Romaker 1). Shoplifters and prostitution are just two of many crimes in Fulton County that are being introduced to criminal t-shirts (Romaker 1). The criminal t-shirts are not meant to be a fashion statement but serve as a deterrent for other criminals (Romaker 2). The judge in the county who sentences these criminals to wear the t-shirts stated, “Public punishment, serves as a deterrent, particularly at a time when more people are being tempted to steal from others” (Romaker 1). When the economy went in the tanks, the shoplifting rate went up. To cope with the criminals these judges them neon green shirts with large, black letters announcing their crime (Romaker 2). The judges decided that criminals needed to suffer a little humility (Romaker 2). Wayne Seely, former police officer said “Judge Robinson should be commended for saying he’s had enough and doing something to discourage people from stealing” (Romaker 2). These criminal t-shirts are not only happening in Fulton County but in other counties around Georgia (Romaker 2). This public punishment was not only effective but served as a perfect deterrent for future thieves. In some instances public punishment can work very effectively or can not affect the person at all. Trenton General was one of those people whom were not affected by publicpunishment despite having to hold his grades up on a busy intersection. Trezhan and the Fulton County criminals learned their lesson from the humiliation and the stares that came along with the punishment. Not all public punishment does work, but most do. As some would say “You do the crime you pay the time”. Works Cited:
Belkin, Lisa. “Bad Grades= Public Punishment” The New York Times. The New York Times Company. 18 February 2009. Web 30 Oct 2012. Romaker, Janet. “Fashion Police: Judge Tailors punishment that fit Criminals to a T.” The Blade. Waveson, Ohio. 7 Sept 2012. Wed Oct 2012. “One boys very public punishment” Abcolocal .go.com.N.p., 23 Mar. 2012. Web 30 Oct 2012.