What Does Justice Look Like?

3년 전


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Have you ever slept peacefully, waking in the morning, refreshed and energised, ready to start a brand new day, only to get the news that something terrible has happened during the night? Many of us can relate to this in regard to terrorism. I know of a great number of Australians who awoke to the news of the 911 attacks on the US, or other such attrocities that have taken place since. Well, while not quite terrorism, here in sleepy old Adelaide, we woke to the news on Sunday morning that some dirty mongrel had taken to Rundle Mall, one of our more iconic pedestrian-only shopping areas, with a spray can of paint, desecrating some shopsfronts, and the Mall's Balls (check out the image below!). The opening image is a shot of the graffiti that was inflicted by the prepetrator on this iconic sculpture (which has since been cleaned off by an army of volunteers who worked tirelessly to remove the detritis from the balls in, from what I hear, record time). If you're interested, you can read about the incident here - Rundle Mall's famous mall's balls graffitied overnight.


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You may think I'm being a little melodramatic about some paint that has since been removed, but here in Adelaide, this act of thoughtless vandalism is tantmount to treason. How would you respond if the Statue of Liberty was defaced? Or perhaps a sacred animal? What about an iconic piece of architecture - the Louvre? The Eiffel Tower? I think you get what I'm saying. This is big. Really big!

As you read this, if you're feeling like there is something bugging you, like you know of these mall's balls that I speak of, and you can feel your anger rising at the injustice that has befallen the community of Adelaide, but can't quite place how, then let me fill you in. It could possibly be because you know/follow @mattclarke. He's the architect behind the #mallsballers movement here on the STEEM blockchain. If this is the case, then you are pretty much an honarary 'Adelaidian', and therefore, your anger is justified - your desire to see this criminal bought to justice is warranted, and as luck may have it, you, along with us, might just see this come to pass.

The genius who went on the tagging rampage was filmed by CCTV, and the footage has been released to social media by the police. I don't think this sort of tomfoolery will be tolerated by the good folk of Adelaide, especially the shop oweners, who are now having to contemplate the extra costs of cleaning their shopfronts. Sure, insurance might cover it, but that's beside the point. Why should they need to make insurance claims, possibly pushing their premiums up because of the actions of a nuisance? Chances are the purveyor of these unwanted words will find himself getting a visit from the police in the not too distant future. Unfortunately, here in Australia, the penalty for graffiti is not large at all. The Graffiti Control Act 2001 (SA) shows the penalty for such an act is a $5000 fine, or imprisonment for 12 months, although the much more common minimum sentence is a community based order of some sort1. Such an order will see him performing some sort of community service, such as picking up rubbish along stretches of road, cleaning duties, ectetera. He could also be required to pay for damages, cleaning costs, and the like.

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Potential Punishment?

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This morning on one of the local radio stations, there was a segment about the above incident, and the hosts of the show, were, like a lot of people in Adelaide, quite opinionated about the punishment that should befall, not just this particular person, but graffiti-prone people in general. They opened the show up to the public to call in and give their ideas on what the punishment for this type of crime should be. They received quite a few good calls, not just on punishments, but on experiences the public have had in regard to grafiti.
Suggestions ranged from holding them down and spray painting them (especially their clothes) with difficult to remove paint, to publically shaming them by forcing them to clean the damage they casued while wearing a vest that highlights them as vandals. Most people seemed in favour of some sort of punishment that was outside of what the law stipulated - especially if the legal ramifications came back as too leinient.
One caller outlined an incident where his boss, a construction worker, caught a young (teenager) vandal graffitiing a house their company was building, red-handed. The boss, grabbed the vandal by the shirt, held him down, and used the spray can to decorate the youth. The caller continued the story, where just as he arrived for work, the vandal's father arrived too, becoming quite verbal with the boss who had painted his son. The boss showed the father what his son had done, and then asked if he would like to pay for the damages. Needless to say, the father calmed down and escorted his son away, reprimanding him as they left.

Is this sort of punishment wrong? Does it amount to vigilantism? In America, vigilantism arose, originally, as a frontier response to the threat and reality of crime2. The problem frontiermen and women found, was that in the Deep South and Old West, they were not protected by any criminal justice system, so they had to establish a way to keep the law upheld. This would beg the question, though, that in Adelaide today, does a punishment require individuals to take the law into their own hands? Is there not an avaiable legal system in most modern societies? (FYI: I do have an opinion on this - I have a really big opinion, but I'm going to refrain from airing it here today).

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What About Education?

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Let's head over to the other extreme, then, shall we? Education in replacement of any punishment at all. It's a noble gesture, but is it a prudent one? Should society do away with any sort of punishment at all? I dare say that we would all answer the same to that question, but let's quickly explore the idea of education as a form (or as a replacement) of justice.

In 2016, during an AFL match3, an indigenous player for the Adelaide Crows, Eddie Betts, had a banana hurled at him by a supporter of the opposition (it just happened to be the other Adelaide team in the competition, but that's probably irrelevant!). Now, for those of you who are unaware of Australian history, racial vilification often comes by way of referring to indigenous people as monkeys, so by throwing the banana in Betts' direction, this woman was indirectly referring to him as a monkey. The woman copped it from all sides (Adelaide fans and players, the AFL, the Port Adelaide Football Club) - even members of her club were disgusted with her behaviour, and spoke out against her actions.
Eddie Betts, however, while saddened by the incident, wanted, rather than to see her punished, see her educated around her misunderstandings. Bett's forgave the woman, I think, publically, and called for her to be educated in an effort to stamp out racist behaviour altogether4. I'm not certain as to the outcome of this woman's education in regard to her racist tendancies, or if this direction has in fact led to the lessening of racial vilification at AFL matches or in society in general. This isn't the only time that education had been called upon, to not necessarily replace, but to assist punishment.

Prison systems have been using rehabilitation as a method for preparing convicts to re-enter society for a long time. There seems ot be a great deal of programs on offer to criminals who find themselves within the prison system, the range, depending on the type of crime committed. Some are very specific, such as violent offenders programs, while others are more general in nature such as cognitive skills programs. Since 2004, the Australian government has committed to rolling out programs of a genrally high standard, that are consistent, and which are likely to have positive impact on prisoner recidivism (the likelihood of a prisoner reoffending)5. It's difficult to say what the impact of these programs actually are. Do they even help, or are they just a gross misdirection of taxpayer money?

Two very different situations, but both highlighting the shift in societal thinking, whereby we no longer wish to outright punish - gone are the days of the lock them up and throw away the key mentality. Is this a good way of handling issues? Take the graffiti incident from the opening of this post - will educating this person on the farther reaching implications of their actions make any difference? Will that person stop and consider their actions if they are taught how graffiti on a shopfront will effect the business owner? Maybe. Maybe not.

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Conclusion

Thank you for reading. I hope that you found something here that was thought-provoking and interesting. I'm not too sure what the right answers to anything raised in the above piece are. I mentioned earlier that I was keeping my opinion(s) to myself. I have done this in the interest of keeping the concepts presented as impartial as possible. That way, you, the reader, can drive the direction of the comments, rather than reacting to what I feel about the situation(s). Having said that, it was actually quite difficult not to allow my thoughts on the situation drive what I wrote. I could probably fill a whole other post on what I feel about some of what has been raised here. I will comment, briefly, however.

As a teacher, I obviously find education a valuable tool, but I'm not overly sure how well it works as a form of discipline, or punishment. I know, (and you have probably felt this as well), that the older I get, the more receptive to education I am. The less it feels like it's pushed on me, the more I want to learn. Why wouldn't prisoners be the same? If they feel that they are being forced into some sort of program, will they actually learn anything? Even the students I have in my classroom are reluctant learners - especially if the subject is a core one, such as Maths, or English. But let them choose one - Home Ec, or Woodwork, Information Technology, or Art, and they can't wait to get their hands dirty (so to speak!).

So now I turn it over to you - it's your turn. What do you think? I would love to hear your views, particularly on the idea of justice for something like vandalism via nuisance gestures, such as graffiti. Are we, as a society, too lienient on perpetrators, are we too tough? Should educational programs be used instead of, or as an assistance, to other traditional forms of punishment? Make sure to contextualise the ideas in your response - someone who has been a victim of a graffiti attack might be more likely to consider harsher penalties more appropriate than someone who has not been a victim of graffiti. I sincerely look forward to continuing a conversation in the comments section.

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Sources

  1. Legal Services Commission of SA - Graffiti
  2. Vigilantism - Origins
  3. Port Adelaide fan who threw banana at Eddie Betts banned 'indefinitely'
  4. Crows, AFLPA slam racist slur at Betts
  5. Prison-based Correctional Rehabilitation
  6. Unless otherwies indicated, images taken from Pexels




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This is such a conundrum and in South Africa, too, these debates are raging. You raise, in my head, three important issues: consequences of actions; punishment and/or restorative justice - with the victim(s) in mind as well as the value of education. Like you, I have opinions on all three and I think that the arguments in favour of all or nothing are not simple, but very nuanced to the point of, sometimes, being case-specific.

With graffiti, too, I think there is a challenge where, internationally, "tag" artists are getting much kudos for their work and it's being featured all over the show - to great acclaim. Begs the question: when does vandalism become art? When it's in the eye of the beholder? And then, the consequences of fame, money, reputation seem somewhat anomalous to me.

Back to the issue of punishment - in this case, this seems to be either malicious or, at best, kids' pranks. Doesn't excuse it, though. From an objective outsider's perspective, I'd be inclined to want to know the motive behind the behaviour and if it was just a kids' prank, cleaning up, naming and shaming may do the trick. If it was malicioius, then no. Throw the book at him/her (probably him). In both instances there are consequences to be borne.

I do understand the anger and outrage, but perhaps because of the issues our society faces, I'm inclined to suggest that a clean-up is infinitely more palatable than hospital visits or a funeral. Or, as is the case of the widespread vandilising of the country's metro rail system, virtually crippling the economy of cities like Cape Town. No, I am not being flippant and yes, I agree that there ought to be consequences as I've already said, and I acknowledge that petty crime can lead to more significant crime, but sometimes it's helpful to take a step back to get perspective. I did like the example of the construction worker and his son. That said, not all parents would have seen sense; some seem incapbable of it when it comes to their "darlings".

On the education thing. I worked in the post school education and training arena for well nigh 30 years and one of the things that is patently clear to me, that the old adage "there's none so deaf as those who won't hear", applies here, too. So I agree that unless there is a genuine motivation to learn, what's the point of education?

In the village where I live, we had a wonderful event over the weekend where 50 bicycles were handed over to children and famliies from poorer part of the town. Yesterday morning, I was doing an errand and two kids came flying round a corner, through a stop street on the wrong side of the road. I had right of way and had I not had to slow down to turn, myself, I might have not seen them and the potential consequences are too awful to contemplate. When I got home, I asked the organiser whether there had been any prep and awareness of the rules of the road. Nope. It's being done with the next bike drop was the response. In November. Now, I'm asking myself whether it would have done any good to have had that ahead of time? I don't know. Kids will be kids, taking chances and doing what kids to - look, mum, no hands, and all that jazz. No amount of education will change that. So... Sigh....

Back to the mall's balls: I, too, would feel a sense of personal outrage at the vandalising of one of my own creations, or a friend's , so I have a sense of what you and @mattclarke must be feeling, which begs another question about the motivation: was it personal? But now having read his comment, perhaps not.

I guess my ramblings are a long way of saying that I don't think that there is a one-size-fits-all solution to this conundrum. I do hope that the community and authorities come to some arrangement that appeases everyone and where the perpetrators are suitably chastised and pay for what they have done.

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Thanks for the well thought out reply @fionasfavourites. I wasn't expecting one so well arranged. I need to point out, from the outset, that neither Matt not myself created the Mall's Balls. They are a sculpture that have been there for 41 years or so, so I don't think the motivation was personal, at least not against either of us.

I would also qualify graffiti as the horrible tagging that we see around the place - words, slogans and the such, as opposed to the 'street art' that tends to be commissioned by governments or councils - those large murals that ordain walls in alleyways, and the such.

There seems to be a great deal wrong with society and the way we see justice delivered. I for one struggle to let the whole eye for an eye thing go. Other parents, not so much. My family were having lunch a week ago, in a shopping centre, and my son's standing by his chair, eating a sushi, when some random kid walked up to him and punched him in the stomach. I didn't see it occur because I was helping my daughter with something, but my wife challenged his mother, who seemed quite non-perplexed by the incident, and 'tried' to get him to apologise to my son. But to no avail.

So now, I need to teach my son that it's not okay for someone to walk up to you and punch you in the stomach, yet if I had've found that kid and his parents, once I'd discovered what had happened, I'd have been the bad guy for throwing a curry in his face. Go figure.

I find that justice is rewarded to the innocent by those who feel the most guilty at the time. Our governments have a semblance of what they think should be justice, but it doesn't help those who are really in need of it. It simply exists to keep the majority quiet. So, providing you're willing to be on the receiving end of violent crime, or something similar, you will probably get to experience justice of some kind.

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Ah, @steveblucher, I misread - I realised that you were not the architect, and misunderstood your reference to Matt, so yes, most definitely not personal.

What a horrible experience for your family and particularly your son. That behaviour is most definitely not ok, and nor was his mother's response. In your shoes, I'd also be chucking a curry in his face. Actually, it strikes me that if you really wanted to do something, that was assault. A criminal offence, no? And don't tell me you that a) children are not capable of criminal behaviour or that b) you can't charge children with criminal offences... Having been involved with the street children movement in the 80's - about which I've written a couple of time and most recently in my last post but two - I know that. And had to deal with both wrongful charges and chldren doing criminal things....

Yes, trying to teach the "do-as-you-would-be-done-by" lesson rather than perpetuating the "do-as-was-done-to-you" reality is the really hard thing, isn't it?

I think that you are so right about justice being rewarded as you say. However, justice is also served on those who can afford it. As I have learned, the law is not fair. The law is the law. That means justice is not fair either, complicated by the motives that drive it and it can be government and sometimes, public sentiment. Actually, there is an interesting case underway in SA at the moment - currently postponed - and where the defence attorney has asked the judge to recuse himself because of perceived bias. It's a very sensitive case involving human trafficking and rape. Swirling public opinions and sentiment. The spat between the judge and the attorney is what's caused the postponement. It's going to be interesting so see how that pans out.

If you're interested, Google the Omotoso trial. I don't necessarily advise it though. Very harrowing.

On that note, g'day!

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I'll have a look at the trial you mentioned - while it might be harrowing, it is still something of an insight into human nature. Interesting that a spat between the judge and an attorney is what caused a postponement. It must've been somewhat of a disagreement. You don't really hear of this sort of thing all that often.

There is a huge disconnect between the behaviours that we want to see our children display, and what the law thinks is appropriate, and unfortunately, not too many people these days want to be held accountable for their actions. With a legal system that on one hand says someone must be responsible, but then with the other hand deals out piss-weak retribution, how are we supposed to react? It's no wonder society is quick to blame someone else. We are headed for dangerous waters, if we haven't already found them.

Accountability, whilst preached from any legal system in the world is quickly becoming a pipe dream. I'm not sure how it is in SA, but here, give someone a honk for cutting you off at a Stop sign, and they have the gall to give you the finger!?! In what world do I get in trouble for someone else not following the road rules!?

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South Africa, I am sad to say, has become very litigious. This is not the first time this has happened. That said, I am going to be very interested to see how this unfolds. The matter is going to the Constitutional Court - the country's apex court.

And on your last two points: I cannot disagree. Both seem to be world wide phenomena.

Have a good week.

PS. Sorry about the cricket. Not. ;)

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LOL! Cricket... I should care more, but it's cricket!!

You should read some of the articles that are coming out at the moment about the Aussie cricketers - you'd think they murdered someone. (the ball tamperers are getting curry, but can't deal with it!!)

The real mallsballs are inside all of us here in the Adelaide community.
Those pictured are just a physical representation; and were never as shiny, polished or well-rounded as the ones we bring with us, to knock together at The Jade.
It's all a question of perspective. I'm sure there are Aboriginal people who consider the balls, and even the mall itself, to be vandalism of the dirt and rocks which were there 200 years ago.
I don't claim to have any sort of stake in the balls; on the grounds that I've been robbed by the State government for the last couple of decades. That's not being a property owner, it's being a victim.
Has anyone asked the guy why he did it?
What's your big opinion?

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I'd be happy to venture out onto a limb and say that if they haven't caught him, no one who will tell, has asked him why he did it. I could also venture to say that he probably did it because he's a knob, but that would be putting forward an opinion that I would rather reserve in an effort to stimulate commentary that is based upon thoughts rather than reactions.

This is such a well thought out and written piece. And top marks for using "tomfoolery" too (love that word). I do think there is a lot to be said for "restorative justice" where the perpertrator meets with the victim and comes to understand the impact of his/her crime. There is little evidence that prison "fixes" people, it just makes things worse. And aside from the psychopaths most criminals are not "born" that way. If you take away someones chance to be a meaningful member of society and label them as a criminal too early then what choice do they have. I do believe in self fulfilling prophecies and also that if you treat someone a certain way then eventually most people will behave in that way.

Having said that, I know the anger that comes in being a victim of a crime. Which is why we have a justice system, that emotion is taken away so that people can be judged fairly (well that's the idea, anyway).

Found your article thanks to the #steemitbloggers: have a great day!

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Thanks @felt.buzz, yes, I believe that tomfoolery is very much an underused word. I've recently been considering compiling a list of words that are not used as much as they used to be, and this one feature quite high on my list. I'm just happy that someone picked up on it and actually knew what it meant!!

I'm not sure as to whether or not prison actually does what it claims too. I wonder whether there are simply too many elements at play to really see true rehabilitation. I guess, it's something that statistics will tell us about.

The self-fulfilling prophecy is an interesting one. I tend to see it from your idea. If you keep preaching to yourself that you are one thing, then eventually, you'll likely end up as that thing. I think the opposite is called affirmation. Tell yourself that you'll sin every morning, and that's what's likely to happen. Sad how some people only experience the negative.

Graffiti and vandalism have always bothered me. I admit I can't understand the mindset to deface anything. To me they're angry gestures, yet when you ask someone who's been caught in the act their answers are usually 'Because I felt like it.' There is no rhyme or reason to their thinking.

I like a few of the suggestions. I do feel that if the person is caught, they should have to do community service of not only cleaning up their mess but other maybe not so 'clean' messes like help the sewer district LOL I know that's a bit nuts. Humiliation just makes the more angry, so making them wear a vest that says vandal on it will egg it on (oh bad pun).

Somewhere in the past 25 years or so, people have really lost respect for others and property. I know what I did when my kids are growing up to instill them with these values, but I honestly don't know if these things can be taught to someone that truly doesn't care. The thought of someone spray painting the glass pyramid at the Louvre. Smashing stained glass in a church that's been there for well over a hundred years. I'm sure things like this have happened. Putting them in jail is just silly. Why make them a burden to taxpayers? That's why I think them spending the time cleaning up what they did and helping more in the community might (a very big might) put things in a different light.

As for the lady with the banana. I like the fact that the footballer wanted her educated. Hate is hard thing to overcome. Again something else that has no rhyme or reason. It ultimately is how you are raised. Yet I have seen that change. Growing up we were taught not to hate in fact if we used the word we got in more trouble then accidentally dropping the F-bomb. I have things in my life I guess I should hate, but I can't. I see no use in it. It doesn't change anything. With this said, either my mother hid it very well or as she's gotten older she's listened to too much crap. She has turned into 'unless you were born in this country, you don't belong here.' Umm, yeah problem with that is her grandparents on both mother and father's side immigrated through Ellis Island from Norway. When I bring it up she then changes it to those who aren't here legally. The worst though is for someone who did not believe in pushing religion on either myself or my brother, she has developed some crazy thinkings there. That might make a great post lol.

Omg sorry I got long winded. I love discussions like this. To me this is how we end the hate and the anger. We have to communicate better, interact more.

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I agree with you, that communication is very important. Without it, we don't really know where we stand in relation to another, but most people, especially in tense situations, prefer to speak with something other than their mouths.

Hatred is definitely a problem in society, and again, to agree with you, the footballer did handle the situation very well. There are other incidents like this one involving different players, and they have handled it very differently - so differently, that their reactions have actually sparked very heated debates online, causing probably more problems than the initial incident did.

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That's bad when the results are worse than the actual incident. It makes you wonder if society on the whole can ever grow enough to get past things like this.

Thanks for the insightful post. There is so much to dissect here. To me, the biggest question is the difference between punishment, which you referred to multiple time, and consequences. As a former teacher, I was taught that punishment doesn't work. It doesn't cause a lasting or meaningful change in behavior. Further, I was taught that consequences, when suited to the offence, work to modify behavior long-term. I tried to find a decent source to support this regarding adults, but a quick google search only turned up child psychology results like this one.

I don't know if punishment vs. consequence has been studied in adults, but I know that in America, the "rehabilitative" system is a joke. There is no rehabilitation that actually occurs. People in prisons, or rehab centers, are guided through programs that are designed to look good on paper and make money for the corporations with very few positive outcomes for the individual. They are being administered a punishment for their behavior. They are not typically taught different coping strategies or why that behavior was harmful. Their empathy is not strengthened in prison. Their work ethic is not promoted. They are not recognized for their positive features, but rather applauded for the wrongdoing that they committed in the first place.

The prison hierarchy celebrates certain types of crimes and provides incentives for individuals to commit more crimes while in prison - effectively teaching them to be better criminals. Were the justice system reworked to include consequences that fit the crime along with education, I believe the recidivism rates would drop drastically. How does a year in prison teach your graffitiest why his actions are harmful? Instead, it will give him time to stew on how unfair the system is and learn from other criminals how to be better at it next time.

Yes, take away his freedom for a while. But also teach him why that is necessary. Teach him the effects of his actions on others and teach him to actually feel for those who are effected by his actions. At that point, he will gladly offer to make restitution for what he's done. In this way, he can still feel good about himself, pay for what he's caused, and contribute to his community in a meaningful way.

I could go on and on, but I won't. I'm already a little sidetracked from my original point.

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I think you managed to sum up a whole lot in a very short space of time @mattifer. I'm not overly sure what the prisons are like in Australia in regard to their rehabilitation programs. The cynical part of me wants to agree with you and say that they are probably quite similar to the ones in the US. They do look quite good on paper, well, screen - the ones I looked over while doing some research for this did look really good, however, how they work in reality, I'm unsure.

I think originally, I was using the terms punishment and consequence interchangeably, but in hindsight, you're right, they're not necessarily the same thing, are they. Off the top of my head, I would say a punishment is pretty much a consequence but without the explanation - punishments would probably tend to be more brutal in nature as well. Or would that just be a perception? Does something seem excessive when you don't understand why you're being forced to do it? Anyway... I would be quite interested to see, as you said, if there have been any studies done on punishment vs consequence in adults. There would have to be benefits in teaching better behaviour in all ages.

Thanks heaps for reading, and for your engaging reply.

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I think the intention is also quite different. A punishment is designed to inflict pain, cause suffering, or otherwise distress the person being punished. A consequence is a more logical outcome of a specific behavior. Every action has a consequence - the law should focus on making the consequence to inappropriate behavior fit the crime that was committed. Instead, we basically ground people for a while.

Go to your room! And STAY there!

I don't recall that being an effective deterrent for my behavior as a child, although I'm sure it works for some. As a teacher, I always found that when I asked the students to discuss their behaviors and help determine appropriate consequences, the students always came up with a more fitting AND more rigorous consequence than I would have administered. And because they were party to determining the outcome of their action, it helped reinforce that they themselves are responsible for their behaviors, rather than leaving it up to an outside force to "police" them.

I understand that this is likely not feasible in the adult world in quite the same way, but I know our prisons could certainly learn a thing or two from the model.

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As a teacher, I always found that when I asked the students to discuss their behaviours and help determine appropriate consequences, the students always came up with a more fitting AND more rigorous consequence than I would have administered.

Such a true observation. I've had similar experiences when conducting my classroom behaviour management the same. Isn't it funny/interesting, just how much we actually crave boundaries. They are, after all, what make us feel safe. I'm unsure how this, or a variant of it, would work with a hardened criminal. Would they take ownership of their behaviour, or blame it on the guy down the street? Again, it would make for an interesting study.

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It doesn't seem to work that way with my brother.... not that he's a hardened criminal, but he is quite unable to take responsibility for his behavior, even when confronted with the consequences of his actions. He's a master at blaming his actions on someone else.

I broke a window with my fist? Oh, you made me do it because you were on the other side of the window. How else could I punch you in the face?

Yeah, so maybe it wouldn't work on the streets.... ;-)

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For me the banana incident says a lot in this regard. For many, the consequences of finding everyone disapproving of your actions can be humiliating just the awakening you need to realise this is not acceptable behaviour. We are community creatures and back in the days of smaller communities your behaviour was regulated by what was acceptable to the group. Otherwise you'd find yourself ousted and that really isn't a great feeling.

Thus, on the subject of the graffiti vandal, what was his motive? Was he tagging because the risk gets approval in certain circles? The more esteemed the property you're tagging, the more revered you might behind in that circle. Or was it simply an act of rebellion or boredom?

I think the impact of punishment, consequence or education often depends on how the offender has been raised in the first place. If they have learnt empathy and an understanding of how actions affect others, then any of these methods could cause them to see error in their actions. However, if they have been raised to never have consequences for their actions or have maybe even been ignored, then would any make an impact? Maybe bad attention was the only attention they were ever able to get, so the pattern continues and any of the above would be welcomed.

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Certainly a good point, and you're right in regard to the any attention is better than none, be it bad or good idea. I guess issues like this are what prompted me to consider something like this as a post. There are so many demeanours floating around, that to simply point the finger and shout right or wrong is so difficult to do now.

I certainly believe in punishment, but punishment should match the crime. We don't cut off the hands of people who are guilty of traffic violations, but we suspend their licenses if they drive under the influence of drugs are alcohol. Education has its place in rehabilitation, but it's not a panacea. It won't fix all problems if it fixes any. As for vigilantism, while it happens in the U.S., most of us have some aversion to its use. We'd prefer that the criminal justice system do its job.

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I sometimes wonder if vigilantism would ever really work. Does it breed awe, or just more fear. I guess essentially, if you're a vigilante, then you're operating just as much outside of the law as the criminals are. I watched the remake of Death Wish recently, and whilst a fairly run-of-the-mill Bruce Willis remake, it still raised the question of vigilantes, and are the right or wrong quite well.

As long as we have opinions, society will always find itself divided in regard to these types of things.

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There will always be vigilantes, I believe. But, yes, they are operating outside the law. The reason we have police forces and law enforcement agencies is so that the criminal element can be dealt with orderly. If everyone took matters into their own hands, we'd have anarchy.

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I'm starting to question whether anarchy isn't such a bad premise. It's not always bad - just a way of thinking.

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Here is my two cents worth and it is about the racism and education level. Some of the most highly educated folks here in the US have been known to let fly some some racist comments or words, so I wouldn't say lack of education has anything to with racism, I would offer that people lack in love and compassion which can be expressed with racist tendencies.
Like I said , just my two cents worth.

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A good two cents worth @sultnpapper. You're right - we have similar occurrences here in Australia. In fact, just recently, one of our biggest morning show TV personalities dropped a fairly racist comment, and the rest of the panel was quite shocked. Interesting for television, but not good when you get an insight into what some people seem to actually think.

If the worst thing that happens in your city is some vandalism you should be right.

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I'm sure we'll live. I get there's perspective.

Personally I believe most of it comes from the ones with huge money trying to keep it, and also trying to keep us down in any way that they can

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