It is commonly thought that anyone in ancient Rome who killed his father, mother, or another relative was subjected to the ‘punishment of the sack’. But is this true?
From being thrown off a cliff to being sewn into a sack with animals, ancient Rome is notorious for its cruel and unusual punishments. But we must be careful what we take as historical fact.
With levels of political discourse reaching new lows, some might say the country could use a dose of shame and humility. At the same time, social media have unleashed a torrent of online shaming.
In sentencing, judges usually consider and balance four main purposes of punishment.
In historic cases the potential for a sentence to rehabilitate, incapacitate or deter the offender is largely insignificant – leaving the focus solely on retribution.
Anthony Devlin/PA Archive/PA Images
Almost total journalistic shutdown is worsening the UK prison crisis.
Many religions see natural disasters as divine punishment. But, a scholar argues, it's not that simple.
It’s not always easy disciplining students.
Leaving teachers to deal with challenging behaviour on their own can be unproductive and stressful.
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New research highlights the dangers of being too supportive when family relations are strained.
Are police being asked to do too much?
Police in schools are being asked to deal with a range of issues, such as being a mental health counselor for a traumatized child. It is unfair to the police and can be harmful for children.
One South African school issues ‘demerits’ if their pupils speak anything but English.
David Ritchie/Cape Argus
Schools and universities in post-colonial contexts still operate within the logic of coloniality. This is starkly illustrated by their language policies.
Malcolm Turnbull has called for nationally consistent laws to enable convicted terrorists to be detained at the end of their prison sentence.
A post-sentence regime for convicted terrorists will only keep Australians safe if an accurate assessment of risk is possible.
Should people with brain disorders receive different punishment for crimes?
Some believe neuroscience should change the way we punish criminals, but courts have been slow to embrace new approaches.
Mothering behind bars.
It has repercussions far beyond the prison gates.
Standing up for what’s right can come with a cost to the individual – but also a benefit.
It helps society function when people punish selfish acts, even at a personal cost. A new theory suggests third-party punishment also confers some benefits on the punisher.
South Africa is slowly transforming the retributive Western criminal justice system it inherited from colonial times to incorporate African principles of reconciliation and reparation.
The emergence of the restorative justice philosophy responds to the need to change South Africa's retributive criminal justice system to accommodate African legal practices.
It can be tempting to lecture or punish kids for a disappointing end-of-year school report – but a recent study shows that’s likely to backfire in later years.
Right now, teachers across Australia are busy writing up end-of-year report cards for nearly 4 million school students. But what should you do if your child brings home a report you're not happy with?
Where should schools draw the line?
Courts have left teachers and administrators without adequate guidance on schoolchildren's free speech rights. Should schools exercise censorship?
Time for a jolly singalong.
Wellcome Library, London
People found out about crime and punishment in that most spectacular era of public executions, the Renaissance, through melody.
A NSW programme in which prisoners train stray dogs as part of their rehabilitation is one of a number of innovations adopted in recent years.
Approaches to crime that rely on punitive methods have proved to be ineffective and counter-productive. Rehabilitation programmes not only prevent crime, but are cost-effective and practical.
Unless most prisoners are given a realistic prospect of rehabilitation, how much good can prison really do?
Sentencing policy is a mixed bag of approaches: punishment, deterrence, protection and rehabilitation. The system will remain costly and ineffective until punitive instincts give way to a more rational approach.
Two Australians will soon be killed at a prison on the Indonesian island of Nusakambangan – for no deterrent effect.
Joko Widodo argues that Indonesia needs to execute drug offenders like Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran to deter others, but he can produce no evidence to support this claim.